Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Human values and their implementation

Instilling human values into AI systems appears to be an important goal in the discussion of AI ethics.

There is, however, no clear consensus what universal human values are. Value systems are determined by different historical, cultural and religious experiences.

Furthermore, humans don’t have a good track record of implementing such values.  Despite thousands of years of religious and philosophical scholarship resulting in the creation and interpretation of value systems, human history has been determined by mass killings, rape, plunder, and human exploitation.

Throughout history, we have witnessed two major approaches to the implementation of such values in decision making: Realpolitik, i.e. politics based on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical or ethical objectives; and Ideology, a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.

Decision making on all levels appears to be a balancing act between the application fundamental values and the consideration of practical concerns.

It seems that we are long way from instilling human values into AI systems. But there’s hope that the AI context will put the questions 

  1. What are the human values?
  2. How should they be applied? 

into the center of the public discourse.

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