Artificial intelligence (AI) is offering many benefits in the contemporary as they are being increasingly being applied in many years. These are systems that are being in many places including in the platforms, digital technologies and even in self-driving vehicles where they promise many benefits. Despite the many benefits that artificial intelligence promises in the contemporary society, they also possess harms some of which are ethical in nature.
Questions about the ethics of the artificial intelligence have been raised by different groups in the society who are worried that these systems may present many ethical issues that have the potential to harm the society in many ways. These ethical issues that AI present could have different implications including affecting people in diverse ways. There is a need to investigate these ethical issues that are claimed to characterize artificial intelligence and to possibly offer some ways that these ethical issues could be addressed.
In this blog, a detailed analysis of the ethical issues that are associated with artificial intelligence is provided before the blog offers some of the ways that these issues may be overcome. An argument is provided that suggests that artificial intelligence, though offering many benefits in the society, also raises many ethical issues that could harm people and the society in a number of ways, and there is a need to create artificial intelligence system under ethical framework while regulation could be pivotal in addressing these problems in significant ways.
Artificial intelligence is claimed to offer a wide array of benefits to people and the society at large. There are many claimed benefits emanating from artificial intelligence especially based on the ways that these systems are used in the contemporary society.
For instance, it is claimed that artificial intelligence promises many economic benefits in terms of efficiency and productivity that it provides when it is applied in different settings, something that suggests that through AI, it is possible to realize significant economic benefits that will impacts the society in numerous ways (Stahl & Stahl, 2021a).
These economic benefits will enhance wealth and wellbeing of people as they will be able to live better lives, meaning that AI is integral to human flourishing (Stahl & Stahl, 2021a). It means that artificial intelligence is seen as being necessary to human flourishing which helps to explain why it is increasingly being deployed in many areas within the society.
Organizations are also said to benefit from developing or deploying artificial intelligence especially when it comes to financial benefits, meaning that the adoption of AI in organizations could be a major way to benefit financially for organizations (Stahl & Stahl, 2021b). It means that organization could realize a wide array of financial benefits if they develop or deploy AI, something that helps to explain why this technology is becoming popular in many organizations today.
Further, the ability of the artificial intelligence technology to process large amounts of data and also at a speed which enable the optimization of results is claimed to promise progress in areas such as generation of knowledge and insights in many areas despite the fact that the consequences of this are usually unpredictable (Stahl et al., 2022). Stahl et al. (2022) further indicate that artificial intelligence is also said to lead to efficiency which has the potential to reduce the environmental damages that usually comes from inefficient production, meaning that when AI is implemented in many areas of production, it brings efficiency which reduces the harmful impacts of inefficient production. Wang & Siau (2018) also notes that apart from the social developments and economic growth that AI promise, it also promises human well-being and also the improvement of safety, meaning that there are many benefits that arise from the use of artificial intelligence.
Therefore, there are numerous benefits that are realized through the use of artificial intelligence in many parts of the contemporary society. However, these benefits that AI offers often get masked by the many ethical issues that are said to arise from the use of these systems, something that suggests that there some issues that are associated with this technology.
AI Ethical Issues
There are several ethical issues that are usually associated with artificial intelligence much as it also has some benefits to offer to the society. When it comes to artificial intelligence, ethics of AI are said to specify the moral obligations as well as duties of an artificial intelligence as well as its creators, with ethics interpreted as the capacity to think critically concerning the moral values and the direct actions and values, or a set of principles and concepts that guide people in determining the behavior that harms or helps sentient creatures (Siau & Wang, 2020).
This suggests that ethics mean the concept or principles that determine the harmful or beneficial actions and behaviors towards other sentient creatures. It is also noted that the ethical issues that AI has tend to be categorized into three groups: features of artificial intelligence that may bring about ethical problems, the human factors that may result in ethical issues, and the ways to educate artificial intelligence to be ethical (Wang & Siau, 2018).
The features of artificial intelligence that are said to present ethical issues include the ability of AI to generate audio that usually sounds like speech in machine learning algorithms but not to human beings, and this could result in artificial intelligence getting access to personal information with the knowledge of the hosts, and this threat also exists in physical world including the self-driving cars (Wang & Siau, 2018).
What this means is the fact that the ability of AI to generate audio in machine learning algorithms could lead to AI accessing the personal information of the hosts without their knowledge, and this could present threats even in physical world such as in the self-driving cars.
Further, Wang & Siau (2018) indicates that artificial intelligence is the fact that AI is not transparency especially deep learning and machine earning means that there are risks of malicious utilization where it may evolve without the monitoring and guidance of humans, something that further demonstrates the fact that there is the risks of machine learning and deep learning being used in malicious manner.
Furthermore, security and privacy are also another ethical issue raised by AI, with such technologies relying on the huge amount of data that also entails the personal data which may be misused and also used maliciously (Wang & Siau, 2018). It means that AI is a technology that poses security and privacy risks where the personal data of the users is what the technology depends on for development and such data may be misused and used in malicious ways.
The human factors that may also give rise to ethical issues when it comes to artificial intelligence include the fact that these technologies have different biases including racial and gender biases (Wang & Siau, 2018).
This indicates that artificial intelligence may inherit the biases that humans have and hence they reproduce inequalities along gender and racial lines, something that shows that artificial intelligence is a technology that may results in inequalities based in different factors.
Wang & Siau (2018) indicates that AI uses datasets that are made by humans, and the fact that humans are biased also means that AI may inherit these biases where many technologies have shown racial biases.
A current case that helps to perfectly illustrate the fact that AI may be biased is a recent case in the United States where it is claimed that there have been wrongful arrests of especially black and brown people after they are misidentified through artificial intelligence, with such incidences helping to illustrate the fact that AI is based along racial lines where it tends to misidentify people of color as it has inherited the biases of humans (Stokes, 2020). This means that through the biases that humans have, the data that is used to develop artificial intelligence is also biases and leads to different racial and gender biases through technologies such as facial recognition which has demonstrated in many instances the ability to discriminate against people of color.
Thus, artificial intelligence through technologies such as facial recognition has demonstrated the fact that these technologies are biased against humans and especially certain racial and gender groups such as people of color and women. When it comes to the ways to educate artificial intelligence to be ethical it is said that there are three ways to transfer to artificial intelligence including training them to be implicit ethical agents, full ethical agents, and explicit ethical agents, and besides these categories, there are questions about th way to treat an AI system that usually has moral sense, consciousness, emotion, and feelings while also killing pr shutting down such systems for reasons such as they replace human jobs or even put the lives of humans in danger or whether it is ethical to deploy such technologies to dangerous areas (Wang & Siau, 2018).
This shows that there are many ethical considerations when using artificial intelligence hence the need to consider such issues and the implications that they have as well as the risks that they may pose to the society.
Addressing AI Issues
Considering these ethical issues that AI raises, there are some ways that these issues could be addressed to ensure that AI is ethical. It is noted that regulation and legislation could be beneficial in guarding against the ethical issues that are usually associated with artificial intelligence, meaning that if there was adequate legislation and regulations on the ways that artificial intelligence is developed, the ethical issues that are found in artificial intelligence could be addressed in many ways, and there are many legislations and regulations that are coming up including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (Stahl et al., 2022).
At the same time, Stahl & Stahl (2021b) also notes that regulation that is emerging in places such as Europe including the liability law could also be critical towards ensuring that the ethical risks that are posed by artificial intelligence are addressed, meaning that legislation could be a major way to address the established risks that are associated with artificial intelligence.
Principles that are based on ethical framework are also argued to have the potential to lead to better outcomes when using artificial intelligence, with such principles including utilitarianism, the three laws of robotics, and the Hippocratic Oath said to have the potential to address the ethical issues that are raised by artificial intelligence (Ouchchy, Coin & Dublijevic, 2020).
This indicates that ethical framework could be integral in regulating the ethical issues that are usually associated with artificial intelligence, something that could be integral in ensuring that such technologies are regulated or developed in ways that they are ethical and that there are minimal ethical risks that comes with using and developing artificial intelligence.
Therefore, it is evident that there are various ways that artificial intelligence could be developed and regulated to ensure that the ethical issues that it raises are addressed.
What is next?
To sum it up, artificial intelligence is highly beneficial to the contemporary society although it also raises some ethical issues. It is claimed to enhance efficiency and productivity which brings about improved living and welfare of the people while also ensuring that environmental degradation is addressed.
Organizations developing or using artificial intelligence also stands to gain financially through the ways that it is used. However, there are many risks and especially ethical ones that are associated with artificial intelligence.
The use of artificial intelligence is claimed to come with some ethical risks including the fact that there is the possibility of leading to privacy and security risks, the misuse of personal information, the threats of biases along racial and gender lines, and also the ways to treat such AI systems that have moral sense, are conscious and also have feelings and emotions, something that shows that AI may be considered as sentient systems.
Legislation and regulations are increasingly being adopted as ways to address the ethical issues found in AI while also ethical frameworks are claimed to have the potential of enabling these systems to be more ethical.
There is thus a need to involve the key stakeholders in the development and deployment of AI to ensure that the ethical issues that it raise are addressed which could be integral in ensuring that such systems are more ethical and do not pose harms to the users and the society at large as these are technologies that could offer many benefits when developed and used properly.
Ouchchy, L., Coin, A., & Dubljević, V. (2020). AI in the headlines: the portrayal of the ethical issues of artificial intelligence in the media. AI & SOCIETY, 35, 927-936.
Siau, K., & Wang, W. (2020). Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethics: Ethics of AI and Ethical AI. Journal of Database Management, 31(2), pp. 74-87. IGI Global.
Stahl, B. C., & Stahl, B. C. (2021a). Ethical issues of AI. Artificial Intelligence for a better future: An ecosystem perspective on the ethics of AI and emerging digital technologies, 35-53.
Stahl, B. C., & Stahl, B. C. (2021b). Addressing Ethical Issues in AI. Artificial Intelligence for a Better Future: An Ecosystem Perspective on the Ethics of AI and Emerging Digital Technologies, 55-79.
Stahl, B. C., Antoniou, J., Ryan, M., Macnish, K., & Jiya, T. (2022). Organisational responses to the ethical issues of artificial intelligence. AI & SOCIETY, 37(1), 23-37.
Stokes, E. (2020). Wrongful arrest exposes racial bias in facial recognition technology. CBS News. Accessed at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/detroit-facial-recognition-surveillance-camera-racial-bias-crime/
Wang, W., & Siau, K. (2018). Ethical and moral issues with AI. Emergent Research Forum.