The field of artificial intelligence is exploding with projects such as IBM Watson, DeepMind's AlphaZero, and voice recognition used in virtual assistants including Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, and Google's Home Assistant. Because of the increasing impact of AI on people's lives, concern is growing about how to take a sound ethical approach to future developments. Building ethical artificial intelligence requires both a moral approach to building AI systems and a plan for making AI systems themselves ethical. For example, developers of self-driving cars should be considering their social consequences including ensuring that the cars themselves are capable of making ethical decisions. Here are some major issues that need to be considered.
The cyberspace and the development of new technologies, especially intelligent systems using artificial intelligence, present enormous challenges to computer professionals, data scientists, managers and policy makers. There is a need to address professional responsibility, ethical, legal, societal, and policy issues. This paper presents problems and issues relevant to computer professionals and decision makers and suggests a curriculum for a course on ethics, law and policy. Such a course will create awareness of the ethics issues involved in building and using software and artificial intelligence.
The more AI agents are deployed in scenarios with possibly unexpected situations, the more they need to be flexible, adaptive, and creative in achieving the goal we have given them. Thus, a certain level of freedom to choose the best path to the goal is inherent in making AI robust and flexible enough. At the same time, however, the pervasive deployment of AI in our life, whether AI is autonomous or collaborating with humans, raises several ethical challenges. AI agents should be aware and follow appropriate ethical principles and should thus exhibit properties such as fairness or other virtues. These ethical principles should define the boundaries of AI's freedom and creativity. However, it is still a challenge to understand how to specify and reason with ethical boundaries in AI agents and how to combine them appropriately with subjective preferences and goal specifications. Some initial attempts employ either a data-driven example-based approach for both, or a symbolic rule-based approach for both. We envision a modular approach where any AI technique can be used for any of these essential ingredients in decision making or decision support systems, paired with a contextual approach to define their combination and relative weight. In a world where neither humans nor AI systems work in isolation, but are tightly interconnected, e.g., the Internet of Things, we also envision a compositional approach to building ethically bounded AI, where the ethical properties of each component can be fruitfully exploited to derive those of the overall system. In this paper we define and motivate the notion of ethically-bounded AI, we describe two concrete examples, and we outline some outstanding challenges.
The newly emerging field of machine ethics (Anderson and Anderson 2006) is concerned with adding an ethical dimension to machines. Unlike computer ethics -- which has traditionally focused on ethical issues surrounding humans' use of machines -- machine ethics is concerned with ensuring that the behavior of machines toward human users, and perhaps other machines as well, is ethically acceptable. In this article we discuss the importance of machine ethics, the need for machines that represent ethical principles explicitly, and the challenges facing those working on machine ethics. We also give an example of current research in the field that shows that it is possible, at least in a limited domain, for a machine to abstract an ethical principle from examples of correct ethical judgments and use that principle to guide its own behavior.
As artificial intelligence (AI) systems become increasingly ubiquitous, the topic of AI governance for ethical decision-making by AI has captured public imagination. Within the AI research community, this topic remains less familiar to many researchers. In this paper, we complement existing surveys, which largely focused on the psychological, social and legal discussions of the topic, with an analysis of recent advances in technical solutions for AI governance. By reviewing publications in leading AI conferences including AAAI, AAMAS, ECAI and IJCAI, we propose a taxonomy which divides the field into four areas: 1) exploring ethical dilemmas; 2) individual ethical decision frameworks; 3) collective ethical decision frameworks; and 4) ethics in human-AI interactions. We highlight the intuitions and key techniques used in each approach, and discuss promising future research directions towards successful integration of ethical AI systems into human societies.