AI and Society 35 (1):165-176 (2020)
AbstractA major approach to the ethics of artificial intelligence is to use social choice, in which the AI is designed to act according to the aggregate views of society. This is found in the AI ethics of “coherent extrapolated volition” and “bottom–up ethics”. This paper shows that the normative basis of AI social choice ethics is weak due to the fact that there is no one single aggregate ethical view of society. Instead, the design of social choice AI faces three sets of decisions: standing, concerning whose ethics views are included; measurement, concerning how their views are identified; and aggregation, concerning how individual views are combined to a single view that will guide AI behavior. These decisions must be made up front in the initial AI design—designers cannot “let the AI figure it out”. Each set of decisions poses difficult ethical dilemmas with major consequences for AI behavior, with some decision options yielding pathological or even catastrophic results. Furthermore, non-social choice ethics face similar issues, such as whether to count future generations or the AI itself. These issues can be more important than the question of whether or not to use social choice ethics. Attention should focus on these issues, not on social choice.
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Citations of this work
How to design AI for social good: seven essential factors.Luciano Floridi, Josh Cowls, Thomas C. King & Mariarosaria Taddeo - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (3):1771–1796.
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Ethics as a service: a pragmatic operationalisation of AI ethics.Jessica Morley, Anat Elhalal, Francesca Garcia, Libby Kinsey, Jakob Mökander & Luciano Floridi - 2021 - Minds and Machines 31 (2):239–256.
Ethics as a service: a pragmatic operationalisation of AI ethics.Jessica Morley, Anat Elhalal, Francesca Garcia, Libby Kinsey, Jakob Mökander & Luciano Floridi - manuscript
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