AI&SOCIETY - 24/06/2020

AI & Human Morality

From the inception of AI technology, there has been constant controversy over ethical issues and concerns that future algorithms could jeopardize the behavior pattern of people we consider socially and morally acceptable.

Perhaps we have a good reason for doubting advanced technology, given that we are already facing its many “dark sides.” Some of them are developing an addiction to video games, accessible violent content and hate speech online, fake identities and more. Ironically, it is even possible to disturb someone’s self-esteem with the use of self-help apps.

AI and Moral Self-Cultivation

Shannon Vallor, a philosopher from Santa Clara University, explained the ethical aspect of modern technology and highlighted the extent to which society is making efforts to neutralize the unwanted consequences.

Every day, more social platforms are restricting harmful content, and applications include rules like age limitations for users and alerts regarding harassing content. Still, it is evident that the creators of the new virtual age are not interested in ethical issues more than they are obliged by law.

Yet, as Vallor believes, society is not completely stuck in the Digital Wild West. On the contrary, as we strive to eradicate the corrupting influences of modern technology, it also provides some good examples of how AI can be used to increase human behavior and find good character models that we would like to become.

How Can AI Improve Our Behaviour Patterns?

There are several amazing systems based on artificial intelligence that can enhance human communication:

1. Interspersing bots can assist people on social platforms in tasks that need coordination;

2. Autonomous cars are able to simulate the decline of traffic jams, which, in the real world, would significantly reduce the anger and intolerance we see on the road every day;

3. AI bots can revoke hate speech or racism on social networks such as Twitter or Reddit;

4. Inventors are extensively developing applications for mental health improvement in patients;

5. Automation of administrative jobs gives people more free time.

While we can list examples of progress in various areas that contribute to healthier relationships and a better moral environment, technology does not seem to be directly focused on the subject of morality.

However, even if we desire to develop a system that would teach us ethical behavior, the question is — who is competent and responsible enough to determine proper ethical models?

Human Character and Environment

Different cultural communities bring different arshins. As the Western world strives for industrialization, advanced wealthy systems, and democratic society, in the East, you will find countries that still nurture the tradition and moral order of the past generations.

It is crucial to keep a balance between the self-cultivation and situations that we create by ourselves. Proper behavior is a product of both personality and context. We develop our attitudes, habits, and behavior in the same way we build technology. People and AI technology are growing together and, in the following years, it is necessary to consider this relationship in terms of severe psychological aspects.

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