Photo credit: Denys Nevozhai
There’s a fairly large flaw in the way that programmers are currently addressing ethical concerns related to artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous vehicles (AVs). Namely, existing approaches don’t account for the fact that people might try to use the AVs to do something bad.
For example, let’s say that there is an autonomous vehicle with no passengers and it is about to crash into a car containing five people. It can avoid the collision by swerving out of the road, but it would then hit a pedestrian.
Most discussions of ethics in this scenario focus on whether the autonomous vehicle’s AI should be selfish (protecting the vehicle and its cargo) or utilitarian (choosing the action that harms the fewest people). But that either/or approach to ethics can raise problems of its own.
“Current approaches to ethics and autonomous vehicles are a dangerous oversimplification – moral judgment is more complex than that,” says Veljko Dubljevi?, an assistant professor in the Science, Technology & Society (STS) program at North Carolina State University and author of a paper outlining this problem and a possible path forward. “For example, what if the five people in the car are terrorists? And what if they are deliberately taking advantage of the AI’s programming to kill the nearby pedestrian or hurt other people? Then you might want the autonomous vehicle to hit the car with five passengers.
“In other words, the simplistic approach currently being used to address ethical considerations in AI and autonomous vehicles doesn’t account for malicious intent. And it should.”
As an alternative, Dubljevi? proposes using the so-called Agent–Deed–Consequence (ADC) model as a framework that AIs could use to make moral judgments. The ADC model judges the morality of a decision based on three variables.
First, is the agent’s intent good or bad? Second, is the deed or action itself good or bad? Lastly, is the outcome or consequence good or bad? This approach allows for considerable nuance.
For example, most people would agree that running a red light is bad. But what if you run a red light in order to get out of the way of a speeding ambulance? And what if running the red light means that you avoided a collision with that ambulance?
“The ADC model would allow us to get closer to the flexibility and stability that we see in human moral judgment, but that does not yet exist in AI,” says Dubljevi?. “Here’s what I mean by stable and flexible. Human moral judgment is stable because most people would agree that lying is morally bad. But it’s flexible because most people would also agree that people who lied to Nazis in order to protect Jews were doing something morally good.
“But while the ADC model gives us a path forward, more research is needed,” Dubljevi? says. “I have led experimental work on how both philosophers and lay people approach moral judgment, and the results were valuable. However, that work gave people information in writing. More studies of human moral judgment are needed that rely on more immediate means of communication, such as virtual reality, if we want to confirm our earlier findings and implement them in AVs. Also, vigorous testing with driving simulation studies should be done before any putatively ‘ethical’ AVs start sharing the road with humans on a regular basis. Vehicle terror attacks have, unfortunately, become more common, and we need to be sure that AV technology will not be misused for nefarious purposes.”
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Artificial intelligence ethics
- IDC: Ethical AI is a team sport that requires smart and strong refereeson March 5, 2021 at 7:47 am
New research finds that the lack of responsible artificial intelligence guidelines is one of the top three barriers to wider adoption.
- Artificial intelligence algorithm tests, trusted AI, black box effect: interview with Guillaume Avrin from LNEon March 5, 2021 at 3:53 am
In the context of our dossier Trusted Artificial Intelligence: From Critical Systems to the Common Good published in issue 3 of the magazine ActuIA currently on newsstands and available in our online ...
- Semi-automated tracking of pain in critical care patients using artificial intelligence: a retrospective observational study | Scientific Reportson March 4, 2021 at 11:38 pm
Monitoring the pain intensity in critically ill patients is crucial because intense pain can cause adverse events, including poor survival rates; however, continuous pain evaluation is difficult.
- Becoming Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Germany and Canada Push for Ethical AIon March 4, 2021 at 1:56 pm
As artificial intelligence technology grows, Germany and Canada attempt to develop their own research in the field and promote ethical standards through international collaboration and cooperation.
- Singapore Academy of Law Considers the Impact of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence on the Lawon March 4, 2021 at 10:15 am
The Law Reform Committee (LRC) of the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) established a Subcommittee on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence to consider and make recommendations regarding the application o ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Artificial intelligence ethics
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Home Buying With Your Partneron March 3, 2021 at 12:01 pm
Contacting a lawyer isn’t very romantic (ok, not romantic at all), but it can save you a lot of money and grief later on.
- Letter to the editor: I urge Breckenridge to reconsider additional housing restrictionson February 28, 2021 at 9:48 am
I know because we decided not to renovate our stand-alone garage into an apartment due to deed restrictions ... Please think about the unintended consequences. Look no further than California ...
- Form in real contractson February 27, 2021 at 5:26 am
For instance, a sale of a piece of land or any interest therein is void if it was transacted through an agent whose authority ... free and voluntary act and deed. Thereafter, the notary public ...
- Black History In Southern Indiana: Racially Restrictive Housing Covenants In Bloomingtonon February 25, 2021 at 3:09 am
In their most basic sense, covenants are private agreements in a housing deed that the buyer of a property ... get out of his car and the real estate agent noticed he was Black, there’d ...
- WisdomTree WTI Crude Oil 3x Daily Leveraged (3LOI.L)on February 18, 2021 at 4:00 pm
NOTICE is hereby given that, pursuant to the provisions of the trust deed dated 30 November 2012 ... the Commodity Annex to the Conditions (Consequences of an Index Cancellation), the Issuer, the Swap ...