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Artificial Intelligence and Ethics

Author: Donna Georgala 

Publication date: 28.02.2024

Understanding Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) encompasses systems that exhibit intelligence by understanding their environment and taking actions to achieve specific goals, often with some level of autonomy. These systems can either be purely software-based, like voice assistants and image recognition software, or they can be integrated into hardware devices such as advanced robots and autonomous cars. In this report, we examine both software-based AI and intelligent robots, exploring the ethical issues associated with each.

Defining Intelligence

Intelligence, in its essence, is about making the right decisions at the right time. According to Legg and Hunt (2007), intelligence involves an agent interacting with its surroundings, striving to achieve objectives, and adapting to different scenarios. Simply put, intelligence is the ability to acquire knowledge and skills to navigate one's environment effectively.

Machine Learning: Training AI

Machine learning, a subset of AI, enables systems to learn and adapt to their environment. Two primary methodologies exist: supervised and unsupervised learning. Supervised learning relies on labeled data to teach systems to recognize patterns, while unsupervised learning requires systems to learn through trial and error. Each approach has its strengths and limitations, such as the potential for bias in supervised learning and the slower learning pace of unsupervised learning.

Ethical Considerations in AI

Ethical considerations are central to discussions surrounding AI, covering topics like psychological targeting and empathetic interactions. It's crucial that AI development and deployment prioritize transparency, accountability, and alignment with human values.

Societal Implications of AI

The societal impact of AI, including its influence on work dynamics and perceptions, requires careful examination. Papers in this Special Issue address these concerns, emphasizing the need to design AI systems that augment human capabilities rather than replace them, and advocating for global cooperation to ensure AI serves the greater good.

Looking Ahead: Future Work

Looking ahead, as AI continues to advance and integrate into everyday life, ongoing research is essential to tackle complex ethical and societal challenges. Future endeavors should focus on ensuring fairness, transparency, and accountability in AI systems to minimize harm and maximize benefits to society. While the contributions in "AI for People" mark significant progress, there is still much ground to cover and explore in the realm of AI ethics and societal implications.

Summary: Navigating the Landscape of Artificial Intelligence and Ethics

This report explores the multifaceted realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI), encompassing both software-based applications and intelligent robots. It defines intelligence as effective decision-making and delves into machine learning methods, highlighting the ethical considerations in AI development. Emphasis is placed on transparency, accountability, and alignment with human values. Societal implications, including AI's impact on work and perceptions, are examined, with a call for designing AI to enhancenot replace, human capabilities. Looking forward, the report underscores the ongoing need for research to address ethical challenges, emphasizing fairness and accountability in AI systems. While progress has been made, the journey towards responsible AI deployment continues.


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