The Importance of Designing Artificial Intelligence to Align with Human Values and Objectives
Updated: Nov 27, 2022
It is essential that artificial intelligence (AI) is designed and operated in a way that aligns with human values and objectives. If we want AI to help reduce poverty or climate change, then we need to design it such that it takes these goals into account. In addition, better control over AI technology is needed, for example through regulating its development and use. Furthermore, AI needs to be developed responsibly and with consideration for its potential impacts.
Designing AI to Align with Human Values
AI can only achieve goals that we program it to achieve, therefore it is crucial that AI is designed to reflect human values.
The role of AI systems will have greater impact upon how we shape our ways of access to reality. This will influence the clarity of human beings’ cognition of values, their preferences, and their determination to act based upon knowledge of values. We may learn from machines to be better than we currently are. Shengnan Han, Eugene Kelly, Shahrokh Nikou & Eric-Oluf Svee in Aligning artificial intelligence with human values: reflections from a phenomenological perspective
If we want AI to help reduce poverty, we need to design it such that it takes this goal into account. One way to do this is to ensure that AI systems are trained on data sets that reflect the demographics of the population we want them to help. For example, if we want AI to help reduce poverty in developing countries, we need to ensure that it is trained on data from these countries.
In addition, it is important to consider the values that we want AI to uphold. For example, if we want AI to help reduce climate change, then we need to design it such that it takes this goal into account. One way to do this is to ensure that AI systems are designed to be energy efficient. Another way to do this is to design AI systems that can help us make better decisions about how to reduce our carbon footprint.
There are many reasons why we should design artificial intelligence to better align with human values and objectives. By doing so, we can help ensure that AI technologies are developed and used in ways that support rather than undermine human rights, democracy, and other important values. Additionally, designing AI systems to align with human values can help create more user-friendly and effective systems, which in turn can help increase public trust in AI. Finally, by aligning AI with human values we can help ensure that the benefits of AI technologies are more evenly distributed across society. As such, there are numerous benefits to be gained by designing artificial intelligence systems that better align with human values and objectives.
How do we do this?
There are a number of ways to design AI systems to better align with human values and objectives. One approach is to incorporate ethical principles into the design of AI systems. For example, some researchers have proposed incorporating principles such as beneficence ( do no harm), autonomy ( respect for individual autonomy), and justice ( fair and impartial treatment) into the design of AI systems.
Another approach is to design AI systems to be more explainable and transparent. This can help ensure that users understand how the system works and that it is operating as intended. For example, researchers have proposed using techniques such as “counterfactual explanations” to help make the operation of AI systems more understandable to users.
Finally, another approach to designing AI systems that align better with human values and objectives is to use “value-sensitive design” methods. This approach takes into account human values and objectives from the start of the design process, rather than trying to retrofit them into an existing system.
Better Control over AI Technology
In addition to designing AI to align with human values, it is also important to have better control over AI technology. One way to do this is through regulating its development and use. For example, the European Commission has proposed regulating AI in the following areas:
Ensuring that AI systems are safe and comply with ethical standards
Providing for transparency and explainability of AI systems
Limiting the use of biometric data collected by AI systems
Preventing discrimination and ensuring data protection when using AI
Supporting development and use of open source AI technologies
Furthermore, it is important to make sure that AI is developed responsibly and with consideration for its potential impacts. For example, when developing autonomous vehicles, it is important to consider how they will impact society as a whole. Will they lead to job losses? Will they increase traffic congestion? Will they make it difficult for people with disabilities to get around? These are all important questions that need to be considered when developing AI technologies.
AI and technology as amplifiers of everything
Technology and AI are not magic powers; they are just extraordinary amplifiers and accelerators that add speed and accuracy. AI accelerates whatever it is applied to. It amplifies good ideas and good practice in the same way it amplifies bad ideas and bad practice. It can help remove bias and discrimination from human resources practice, for example, but it can also spread and scale bias. This is because AI extrapolates from what we know and from existing patterns ! ~ Andreas Schleicher in What does artificial intelligence mean for values and ethics?
What this all means is that we need to start paying attention to how AI is changing the playing field. We need to be aware of its potential biases and limitations, and we need to think about how we can use it to create a fairer, more just world.
We also need to be careful about the narratives we create around AI. Too often, the stories we tell about AI are ones of fear and control. We need to start telling stories that inspiring and show how AI can be used for good. Only then will we be able to harness its true potential.
In conclusion, it is essential that AI is designed and operated in a way that aligns with human values and objectives. In addition, better control over AI technology is needed, for example through regulating its development and use. Furthermore, AI needs to be developed responsibly and with consideration for its amplification potential impacts as well as the narratives we create around it. Only then will we be able to harness its true potential. Only then can AI be used to help achieve important goals such as reducing poverty or climate change.