How AI Can Be a Force for Good
Article

How AI Can Be a Force for Good

An ethical framework will help to harness the potential of AI while keeping humans in control

Science, 2018

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Would the world be a different place if people in the 19th century had been able to foresee the industrial revolution’s devastating impact on the environment? Of course, no one will ever know the answer, but people can try to do better when it comes to the technological revolution that is taking the 21st century by storm: Artificial Intelligence (AI). In a Science magazine article, Mariarosaria Taddeo and Luciano Floridi discuss the importance of developing ethical guidelines to pre-empt the potential negative consequences of AI. The article will engage anyone concerned with the social and ethical impact of AI.

Summary

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution has created the need for ethical rules guiding the technology’s development and usage.

Due to its autonomy and capacity to learn, AI is more than just another new technology. AI is increasingly inserting itself into people’s lives and has started to influence their behavior. The technology poses new ethical challenges that society must confront before AI has advanced to a point where individual rights and social welfare are compromised. Leaders from civil society, politics, the private sector and academia must develop guidelines that will allow AI to become an aid to human endeavors without undermining human dignity.

A first set of rules governing AI must address the delegation of tasks and the ascription of responsibility.

The strength of AI is that it can perform tasks and draw conclusions autonomously. For example, AI outperforms humans at detecting breast ...

About the Authors

Mariarosaria Taddeo and Luciano Floridi are experts at the Oxford Internet Institute and the Alan Turing Institute in the UK. 


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