Morality vs. Artificial Intelligence

Participants at the AI Discussion (Kristin Schneider)

By Kristin Schneider
On March 26th, Dr. John Sylvia and his Comm Law and Ethics class invited members of the community to join them and discuss and debate the ethics behind Artificial Intelligence (AI).  During this discussion, participants were encouraged to speak their thoughts and opinions on the topic.
Though starting off rather slow, momentum built and opinions were stated as participants took the chance to bounce their thoughts off those with similar and opposing thoughts.
Many different theories and ideas were brought up throughout the discussion. Including the ‘Jetson’s Future,’ a dreamed utopia where computers and AI’s run the majority of jobs, allowing for the human race to live a more relaxed life, working no more than 12 hours a week. Trolley theory, an ethical theory, used to debate the ethics of AI, was brought up multiple times. Trolley theory is where a person is given a situation in which they have to make a decision between two choices, both having harmful consequences, and asking what would they choose?
A topic that seemed to heat up the participants was the issue of morality vs intelligence and the emotional dilemmas within programming artificial intelligence. To this debate, Mark Maxfield, a local who attended the event said, “We have to think about what [and] who is a good human being to base that AI on?” Causing participants to question if AI was implemented and thoroughly built, whose culture and whose morality do they base the AI on. What code of ethics would it be given, and is their even a single human on Earth who would be able to figure out how to program an AI in a way that would follow all those guidelines.
Even after the event had officially ended, many participants stuck around, sharing laughs and further discussing points that had been made throughout the night.