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A wary AI’s ethics discussion is essential to ensure the future of AI and robotics

On September 20, AIWS Conference with the theme ‘AI-Government and AI Arms Races and Norms’ was held at Harvard University Faculty Club by Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation (MDI). The key message of this conference lies in the importance of moral standard for AI to ensure humanity’s sake.

Reported by The AI Trends, the conference took place in Harvard University Faculty Club with the presence of scientists, researchers, and standard-setters. It aims to figure out the solution for the root of AI’s threat – its unconstrained machine learning mechanism.

According to Matthias Scheutz, Director of the Human-Robot Interaction Lab at Tufts University, “We would like to ensure that AI and robotics will be used for the good of humanity. The greatest danger I see is from unconstrained machine learning, where the system can define goals not intended by the designer.”

“The best way to safeguard AI systems is to build ethical mechanisms into the algorithms themselves,” adds Dr. Scheutz. “We need to do ethical testing of the system without the system knowing it. That requires specialized hardware and virtual machine architecture.”

Besides, Marc Rotenberg, President of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) takes the position that, “Knowledge of AI algorithms is a fundamental right.”

Prof. Joseph Nye, Distinguished Service Professor of Harvard University, anticipated an AI arms race in the future at this pace while AI is thriving like never seen before, and AI’s ethics still are not researchers’ priority.

“It’s not part of the job description,” said Nazli Choucri. The effort to create standards need to be international similar to the restriction of nuclear weapon.

“Ethics is essential to what we are doing,” said Tom Creely, a professor at the US Naval War College. “It’s an important topic in the military. And national security is no longer just the Defense Department’s problem. We all need to be part of the conversation.” AI should be a valuable tool to make our life better as it’s full of potential. It will not be destructive if we follow rules to ensure our own protection.

At AIWS Conference 2018, MDI also introduced its partnership with the AI World Conference & Expo (including The AI Trends). The partnership has the aim of developing, measuring and tracking the progress of ethical AI policy-making and solution-adoption among governments and corporations.