AI and society: a virtue ethics approach

AI and Society:1-14 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Advances in artificial intelligence and robotics stand to change many aspects of our lives, including our values. If trends continue as expected, many industries will undergo automation in the near future, calling into question whether we can still value the sense of identity and security our occupations once provided us with. Likewise, the advent of social robots driven by AI, appears to be shifting the meaning of numerous, long-standing values associated with interpersonal relationships, like friendship. Furthermore, powerful actors’ and institutions’ increasing reliance on AI to make decisions that may affect how people live their lives may have a significant impact on privacy while also raising issues about algorithmic transparency and human control. In this paper, building and expanding on previous works, we will look at how the deployment of Artificial Intelligence technology may lead to changes in identity, security, and other crucial values. We will discuss what challenges we may face in the process, while critically reflecting on whether such changes may be desirable. Finally, drawing on a series of considerations underlying virtue ethics, we will formulate a set of preliminary suggestions, which—we hope—can be used to more carefully guide the future roll out of AI technologies for human flourishing; that is, for social and moral good.

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