A Moral Machine

The dialog surrounding artificial intelligence and ethics is amplifying. As society continues this rapid progression towards an automated future, the role of ethics becomes increasingly important. After painting a picture of several possible futures for an audience, I would ask this question: Is this a society that you want to live in. This discussion was captured in a post on Technology and Ethics, along with a poll to capture my readers thoughts on this same question (please take the poll to keep the dialog moving). 

This question underscores the need to proactively manage the path towards these possible futures – and the discussion surrounding ethics plays a critical role. Enter initiatives like Moral Machine from MIT. As described by their website, machine intelligence is supporting or entirely taking over ever more complex human activities at an ever increasing pace. The moral machine provides a platform for building a crowd-sourced picture of human opinion on how machines should make decisions when faced with moral dilemmas. Given the challenges of coding an ambiguous set of morals and ethics into machines, crowdsourcing makes great sense. So visit the Moral Machine platform and add your voice to the conversation.


5 thoughts on “A Moral Machine

  1. The question posed by the Moral Machine is illustrative of why I prefer not to live in such a society. It does not pose a complete question which is the concern with trying to code Ethics. For example, the question posed: is it better to kill two passengers or five pedestrians if a driverless car is out of control. On its face value, the person answers according to the lesser of two evils. But what if the passenger is your son while your daughter is among the pedestrians. That level of complexity can only exist with the human soul and I do not think any level of crowdsourcing can develop a satisfactory answer….because there is none. In addition,how can AI based on crowdsourcing account for cultural differences?

    I agree with Musk. I’d rather have AI as a Digital Layer versus part of the cortex.


  2. Sir,
    Very nicely done – am sure it taken much effort to think of the scenarios.

    Sometimes even though we think impact will kill but my experience speaks, we, as human have been given amazing power of mitigation when exposed to sudden life-threatening situation.
    Even though digital is our future but its long way AI can achieve the degree of empathy, emotions humans have. It is here we have to decide where & to what extent to use AI or for that matter, any technology. Only then can we progress in true sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] This convergence occurs between the economy, society, technology, science, environment, geopolitics, and others. Periods that experience profound levels of convergence require Unlearning – one of the most difficult things for humans to do. Imagine life after the civil war and how much unlearning was required in the fifty plus years that followed. Now consider the possibility of increased convergence in the coming decades. What core beliefs, intuitions, and institutions will we need to reimagine? Consider ethics for example. In this era of artificial intelligence and robots, programming ethics into the fabric of an automated society will be critical – a dialog that I expect to ramp in 2019. A great example of this process in action can be seen in the MIT work around A Moral Machine. […]


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