Both the ethics of autonomous systems and the problems of their technical implementation have by now been studied in some detail. Less attention has been given to the areas in which these two separate concerns meet. This paper, written by both philosophers and engineers of autonomous systems, addresses a number of issues in machine ethics that are located at precisely the intersection between ethics and engineering. We first discuss the main challenges which, in our view, machine ethics posses to moral philosophy. We them consider different approaches towards the conceptual design of autonomous systems and their implications on the ethics implementation in such systems. Then we examine problematic areas regarding the specification and verification of ethical behavior in autonomous systems, particularly with a view towards the requirements of future legislation. We discuss transparency and accountability issues that will be crucial for any future wide deployment of autonomous systems in society. Finally we consider the, often overlooked, possibility of intentional misuse of AI systems and the possible dangers arising out of deliberately unethical design, implementation, and use of autonomous robots.
Verified artificial intelligence (AI) is the goal of designing AI-based systems that are provably correct with respect to mathematically-specified requirements. This paper considers Verified AI from a formal methods perspective. We describe five challenges for achieving Verified AI, and five corresponding principles for addressing these challenges.
This article discusses verification and validation (V&V) of autonomous systems, a concept that will prove to be difficult for systems that were designed to execute decision initiative. V&V of such systems should include evaluations of the trustworthiness of the system based on transparency inputs and scenario-based training. Transparency facets should be used to establish shared awareness and shared intent between the designer, tester, and user of the system. The transparency facets will allow the human to understand the goals, social intent, contextual awareness, task limitations, analytical underpinnings, and team-based orientation of the system in an attempt to verify its trustworthiness. Scenario-based training can then be used to validate that programming in a variety of situations that test the behavioral repertoire of the system. This novel method should be used to analyze behavioral adherence to a set of governing principles coded into the system.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies could be broadly categorised into Analytics and Autonomy. Analytics focuses on algorithms offering perception, comprehension, and projection of knowledge gleaned from sensorial data. Autonomy revolves around decision making, and influencing and shaping the environment through action production. A smart autonomous system (SAS) combines analytics and autonomy to understand, learn, decide and act autonomously. To be useful, SAS must be trusted and that requires testing. Lifelong learning of a SAS compounds the testing process. In the remote chance that it is possible to fully test and certify the system pre-release, which is theoretically an undecidable problem, it is near impossible to predict the future behaviours that these systems, alone or collectively, will exhibit. While it may be feasible to severely restrict such systems\textquoteright \ learning abilities to limit the potential unpredictability of their behaviours, an undesirable consequence may be severely limiting their utility. In this paper, we propose the architecture for a watchdog AI (WAI) agent dedicated to lifelong functional testing of SAS. We further propose system specifications including a level of abstraction whereby humans shepherd a swarm of WAI agents to oversee an ecosystem made of humans and SAS. The discussion extends to the challenges, pros, and cons of the proposed concept.
Autonomous Vehicles (AV) are expected to bring considerable benefits to society, such as traffic optimization and accidents reduction. They rely heavily on advances in many Artificial Intelligence (AI) approaches and techniques. However, while some researchers in this field believe AI is the core element to enhance safety, others believe AI imposes new challenges to assure the safety of these new AI-based systems and applications. In this non-convergent context, this paper presents a systematic literature review to paint a clear picture of the state of the art of the literature in AI on AV safety. Based on an initial sample of 4870 retrieved papers, 59 studies were selected as the result of the selection criteria detailed in the paper. The shortlisted studies were then mapped into six categories to answer the proposed research questions. An AV system model was proposed and applied to orient the discussions about the SLR findings. As a main result, we have reinforced our preliminary observation about the necessity of considering a serious safety agenda for the future studies on AI-based AV systems.