Katleen Gabriels has published a book titled Conscientious AI. Machines Learning Morals. An earlier version of this book was published in Dutch, titled Regels voor Robots.
Facebook’s timeline, Google’s search engine, Amazon’s Alexa: much of our everyday technology contains artificial intelligence (AI). Vacuum-cleaning and lawn-mowing robots ease household chores. Chatbots conduct therapy sessions and algorithms assist doctors with medical decision-making. We can even delegate moral decisions to algorithms. The combination of robots and AI, together with big data, opens up endless possibilities. However, which decisions should be delegated to machines and which should not? And whom do AI self-learning systems learn from?
The time to ask ethical questions about design is right from the outset: every product made by humans is made with morality. This plea for ethical rules is just as relevant to robots and AI systems, as it is to data scientists, engineers and designers. Innovation is not only about technological progress, but also about recognising and taking a mindful approach to dealing with the moral choices that are an intrinsic part of technology.