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Monday, August 20, 2018

Ethics and the pursuit of artificial intelligence

Daniel Wagner
South China Morning Post
Originally posted August 6, 2018

So many businesses and governments are scurrying to get into the artificial intelligence (AI) race that many appear to be losing sight of some important things that should matter along the way – such as legality, good governance, and ethics.

In the AI arena the stakes are extremely high and it is quickly becoming a free-for-all from data acquisition to the stealing of corporate and state secrets. The “rules of the road” are either being addressed along the way or not at all, since the legal regime governing who can do what to whom, and how, is either wholly inadequate or simply does not exist. As is the case in the cyber world, the law is well behind the curve.

Ethical questions abound with AI systems, raising questions about how machines recognise and process values and ethical paradigms. AI is certainly not unique among emerging technologies in creating ethical quandaries, but ethical questions in AI research and development present unique challenges in that they ask us to consider whether, when, and how machines should make decisions about human lives – and whose values should guide those decisions.

In a world filled with unintended consequences, will our collectively shared values fall by the wayside in an effort to reach AI supremacy? Will the notion of human accountability eventually disappear in an AI-dominated world? Could the commercial AI landscape evolve into a winner takes all arena in which only one firm or machine is left standing?

The information is here.