Computation, Rule Following, and Ethics in AIs

Date
2022-01-04
Authors
Seo, Hyunjin
Thorson, Stuart
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Abstract
As interest in developments of artificial intelligence (AI) models has grown, so has concern that they embed unintended, undesirable risks and/or fail to properly align with human values and norms. In the extreme case, it is argued that AI may pose existential risks to the human species. We consider computational entities satisfying the Extended Church-Turing Thesis and claim these include both human and non-quantum based AI. We then introduce rules, including moral and ethics rules, as linguistic entities and illustrate how they can be encoded as computational objects. Following Wittgenstein, we show that rules and rule following cannot be purely private. Whether particular rules are being followed in specific instances depends upon ongoing engagement with a language community. However, in situations involving application of ethics rules there may be no widely agreed community to use in evaluating whether rules are being followed properly. Indeed, how are we to determine which are appropriate ethical rules? Every appeal to rule following itself is based upon more rules; it is rules all the way down. Deliberative reasoning is at the core of moral and ethics discourse and issues in conceptualizing rule-following AIs become of particular interest.
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Keywords
Accountability, Evaluation, and Obscurity of AI Algorithms, artificial intelligence (ai), computation, deliberative reasoning, ethics in ai, rule following
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