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  • Technology Ethics Charter of Ricoh Group

    Ricoh Group Technology Ethics Charter

    Formulated a comprehensive “Technology Ethics Charter” that covers research, development, sales, and operation of various digital services utilizing AI and imaging devices.


The Ricoh Group conducts its business based on the Spirit of Three Loves, Ricoh's founding principles formulated in 1946, to instill each employee with a strong sense of ethics and regard for sincere and fair conduct. After our entry into the healthcare business in 2016, we established the Ricoh Ethical Review Board in 2017 in accordance with the “Ethical Guidelines for Medical and Health Research Involving Human Subjects.” These guidelines were established by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to cover research and development based on the ethics review system for not only medical study but also for ergonomics research.

In recent years, digital services have been applied not only to improving work efficiency by providing goods and services, but also to the realm of predicting human emotions and thinking. However, there are risks associated with malicious actions from external sources targeting AI-Powered systems, which can have significant impacts on individuals' rights and the entire society. Furthermore, if the development of digital services is flawed, it may foment discrimination, prejudice, and inequality. Therefore, it is necessary to closely monitor the utilization of AI, which is an important technology that underpins digital services.

Recognizing these challenges, the Ricoh Group established Ricoh Family Group Ethics Office as a specialized department in 2023 to proactively mitigate ethical risks associated with digital service development, implementation, and operation. We have newly formulated a comprehensive Ricoh Group Technology Ethics Charter that covers research, development, sales, and operation of various digital services utilizing AI and imaging devices.

To achieve Fulfillment through Work, our Mission & Vision, the Group is committed to contributing to the realization of a resilient society by practicing risk assessment and countermeasures inherent in digital services including AI so that we can respond to the trust of our customers and partners and enable collaborative activities with confidence.

Three Principles of Technology Ethics

1. Providing Fulfillment through Work by solving social issues and developing human-centered services

It is important that decisions made by AI, which is at the core of digital services, be implemented responsibly, with respect for people and for the benefit of society. Following the principles of respect for human rights, beneficence, and justice, the Ricoh Group provides digital services that revolve around people and we continuously conduct system verification to ensure that the systems function as intended by anticipating customer usage scenarios, and providing Fulfillment through Work.

2. Enlightenment and Provision of services that respect the values of diverse individuals

To mitigate the potential ethical risks and foster the creation of new value when providing digital services, it is crucial to ensure that the purpose of utilizing AI in systems and products is appropriate from the research and planning stages. The Ricoh Group plans to propose the utilization of digital services and application of technology ethics to solve various social issues, contribute to the realization of a comfortable and resilient sustainable society, and expand the circle of Fulfillment through Work for people from diverse backgrounds around world. Furthermore, in research, development, and experimentation targeting humans, we will conduct ethical reviews in accordance with the ethical guidelines established by each country, region, or academic association.

3. Maintenance and management of services with high reliability and security

For customers to continue using our digital services, it is crucial to ensure the reliability of systems after the societal implementation of digital services, which is to provide value consistently and stably over the long term. The Ricoh Group focuses on robust design to ensure that the digital services can adapt to societal and environmental changes and are continuously accepted. We strive to maintain and develop digital services leveraging the technology nurtured through the maintenance of office equipment.

Seven Credos

1. Promotion of appropriate development and responsible utilization

The Ricoh Group incorporates specific usage scenarios of services into the development process to ensure that they are not used in ways that deviate from their intended purposes or operational conditions. We strive for development that considers the risks associated with each usage scenario. We also promote the proper operation of digital services by providing users and operators with usage policies and conditions. Additionally, we continuously monitor changes in the operating environment of the digital services, people's awareness of the decision results made by AI at the core of the digital services, and changes in societal conditions. We make efforts to appropriately maintain and manage digital services and ensure continuous learning.

2. Achieving fairness

The Ricoh Group strives to develop and operate AI technology, in addition to educate our employees, so that the results of AI, which is the core of digital services, contribute to the interests of various stakeholders and do not cause or encourage discrimination or prejudice based on race, gender, or nationality, etc.

3. Development and operation with thorough protection of privacy

The Ricoh Group handles personal information appropriately and endeavors to protect rights including privacy with regard to input data used for learning, evaluating, and operating digital services and data output by such services.

4. Development and provision of security-focused digital services

The Ricoh Group strives to realize and operate digital services that emphasize security, including measures at the system and operation levels to prevent information leaks, falsification, system corruption, and service interference.

5. Emphasis on Safety

The Ricoh Group strives to verify the quality of digital services we provided to ensure that they function as intended and protect the rights — including the life, health, property, reputation, trust, and credibility — of users and stakeholders. Simultaneously, we will strive to realize and operate digital services that prevent negative impacts on the global environment and society and provide comfortable workplaces.

6. Practice Transparency and Accountability

The Ricoh Group endeavors to ensure transparency by verifying the basis of the decision results made by AI and being able to explain them. We also strive to fulfill our accountability by providing explanations according to the purposes and situations related to the services we provide.

7. Compliance with Laws and Regulations

We comply with laws and regulations in the countries and regions where our digital services are used. We also realize and operate digital services that adhere to fundamental ethical principles and meet societal expectations. To achieve this, the Group strives for talent development by providing equal access to educational environments that foster education and literacy for those involved in research, development, design, sales, maintenance, etc.