Ethics in AI Lunchtime Seminar - Getting Machines to Do Your Dirty Work

Dr Todd Karhu (KCL), Tomi Francis (Oxford)
Event date
Event time
Institute for Ethics in AI (in-person or online)
Department of Biochemistry Phase 2
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Building, South Parks Road
Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

Abstract: Autonomous systems are machines which can alter their behaviour without direct human oversight or control. How ought we to program them to behave? A plausible starting point is given by the Reduction to Acts Thesis, according to which we ought to program autonomous systems to do whatever we ought to do in the same circumstances. In this talk, we will argue that the Reduction to Acts Thesis is false: it is sometimes permissible to program autonomous systems to do things which it would be wrong for a human to do. We provide two main arguments for this claim. The first has to do with the lack of programmers' knowledge about the identities of the victims and beneficiaries of an autonomous system's behaviour. The second concerns how the way that a system is programmed will indirectly affect the behaviour of other agents.