The AI of ethics

Williamson, Robert C. 2021. “The AI of ethics”. In Machines We Trust: Perspectives on Dependable AI, 139-60. Boston: MIT Press.


The spectacular rise of AI has lead to anxiety regarding the ethics of AI—how might one conceive and control the ethical impacts of AI technology. I will first sketch the traditional framing of “the ethics of AI.” I will then provide an inverse view, that sees AI as an extension of human reasoning, with concomitantly different conclusions regarding decisional autonomy. I will further argue that the solution to many ethical problems relies upon the better use of cognitive technologies such as AI. That is, we have largely had it backwards — it is the AI of ethics that warrants our attention, and the root of the harm is the use of AI, not the technology itself.

Last updated on 08/10/2023