Finding ways to safeguard human rights and democratic values when artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled products and systems increasingly operate without human intervention, is the focus of a new international academic research consortium that includes the Australian National University (ANU).
The ANU, as an initiative of its Humanising Machine Intelligence (HMI) Grand Challenge, has struck a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on philosophy, AI and society (PAIS) with researchers from Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, Toronto and Princeton universities to help build an international research community that uses philosophy to help shape how AI is designed and regulated.
With government and non-state actors more frequently using AI to influence elements of people's lives, many fundamental questions are raised about how we want our societies to be, and how AI can help us get there. The PAIS consortium aims to mobilise some of the world's leading philosophy departments to help answer those questions.
These will include how AI systems take moral or political values into account, which values should be incorporated, who decides those values, and how they should be operationalised in AI algorithm design.
The PAIS consortium's work may have important implications for the rollout of AI-enabled products such as autonomous weapons or vehicles, or of regulating AI-enabled systems such as social media where AI is used to amplify and silence content, leading to widespread concerns about misinformation and polarisation.
The ANU involvement in PAIS is led by Professor Seth Lazar with HMI Chief Operations Officer Dr Chelle Adamson. Professor Lazar is a long-standing advocate of the contribution that philosophy can make to answering fundamental questions about the societal impacts of AI.
In recognition of his novel efforts, Professor Lazar will become the first philosopher to co-chair the international Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency in 2022.
ANU Enterprise has been integral in promoting the consortium MoU and the endeavours of Professor Lazar and his ANU colleagues.
To connect with Professor Lazar or other ANU researchers, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.