Artificial Intelligence and Responsible Innovation
Researchers in AI often highlight the importance of socially responsible research, but the current literature on the social impacts of AI tends to focus on particular application domains and provides little guidance to researchers working in other areas. Additionally, such social impact analysis tends to be done in a one-off fashion, proposing or problematizing a particular aspect of AI at a time, rather than being deeply integrated into innovation processes across the field. This paper argues that work on the societal dimensions of AI can be enriched by engagement with the literature on “responsible innovation,” which has up until now focused on technical domains like nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and geoengineering. Drawing on this literature, the paper describes and justifies three interrelated aspects of what a more deeply integrated, ongoing practice of responsibility in AI would look like: consideration of the social contexts and consequences of decisions in the AI design space; reflectiveness about one’s emphasis on theoretical vs. applied work and choice of application domains; and engagement with the public about what they desire from AI and what they need to know about it. Mapping out these three issues, it is argued, can both describe and theorize existing work in a more systematic light and identify future opportunities for research and practice on the societal dimensions of AI. Finally, the paper describes how philosophical and theoretical aspects of AI connect to issues of responsibility and technological governance.
KeywordsResponsible innovation Artificial intelligence Social context Applied research Public engagement Governance
The author would like to acknowledge helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper from David Guston, Erik Fisher, Clark Miller, Illah Nourbakhsh, Stuart Russell, David Atkinson, participants in the Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology colloquia at Arizona State University, and two anonymous reviewers. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under award #1257246 through the Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation (VIRI). The findings and observations contained in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
- Bostrom, N., & Yudkowsky, E. (2014). The ethics of artificial intelligence. In K. Frankish & W. M. Ramsey (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of artificial intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Buchanan, B., & Smith, R. (2013). Meeting the responsibility to explain AI. Slides presented at the twenty-seventh AAAI conference. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. http://aitopics.org/sites/default/files/articles-columns/Meeting%20the%20Responsibility%20to%20Explain%20AI%20-%20AAAI%20-%2020130718.pdf. Accessed 15 Jan 2014.
- Chen, T., et al. (2013). Robots for humanity: A case study in assistive mobile manipulation. IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, Special issue on Assistive Robotics, 20(1), 30–39.Google Scholar
- DARPA. (2014). About the challenge. Informational website. http://www.theroboticschallenge.org/about. Accessed 15 Jan 2014.
- Docherty, B. (2012). Losing humanity: The case against killer robots. Human Rights Watch report. http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/arms1112_ForUpload.pdf. Accessed 15 Jan 2014.
- Douglas, H. (2009). Science, policy, and the value-free ideal. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
- European Commission. (2012). Public attitudes towards robots (report). Special Eurobarometer 382. http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_382_en.pdf. Accessed 15 Jan 2014.
- Fisher, E., et al. (2010). Research thrives on integration of natural and social sciences. Nature, 463(1018).Google Scholar
- Floridi, L. (Ed.). (2010). The Cambridge handbook of information and computer ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Gomes, C. (2009). Computational sustainability: Computational methods for a sustainable environment, economy, and society. The Bridge. Winter 2009.Google Scholar
- Hoffman, et al. (Eds.). (2012). Collected essays on human-centered computing, 2001–2011. Washington, DC: IEEE Computer Society Press.Google Scholar
- Horvitz, E., & Selman, B. (2009). Interim report from the AAAI presidential panel on long- term AI futures. Online document. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. http://www.aaai.org/Organization/presidential-panel.php. Accessed 15 Jan 2014.
- Lin, P., et al. (2011). Robot ethics: The ethical and social implications of robotics. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
- McAfee, A., & Brynjolfsson, E. (2014). The second machine age: Work, progress, and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
- Moon, A., et al. (2012). Open roboethics: Establishing an online community for accelerated policy and design change. Presented at We Robot 2012. http://robots.law.miami.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Moon_et_al_Open-Roboethics-2012.pdf. Accessed 19 Jan 2014.
- Nilsson, N. (2005). Human-level artificial intelligence? Be serious! AI Magazine, Winter 2005.Google Scholar
- Norvig, P., & Russell, S. (2009). Artificial intelligence: A modern approach (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Nourbakhsh, I. (2009). Ethics in robotics. Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giKT8PkCCv4. Accessed 15 Jan 2014.
- Nourbakhsh, I. (2013). Robot futures. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Parry, V., et al. (2011). Principles of robotics: Regulating robots in the real world. EPSRC document. http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/research/ourportfolio/themes/engineering/activities/Pages/principlesofrobotics.aspx. Accessed 15 Jan 2014.
- Stilgoe, J. et al. (2013). Developing a framework for responsible innovation. Research Policy, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2013.05.008.
- Takayama, L., et al. (2008). Beyond dirty, dangerous, and dull: What everyday people think robots should do. HRI ’08, Proceedings of the 3rd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction, pp. 25–32.Google Scholar
- Von Schomberg, R. (2011). Prospects for technology assessment in a framework of responsible research and innovation. In Technikfolgen abschätzen lehren: Bildungspotenziale transdisziplinärer Methode. Wiesbaden: Vs Verlag.Google Scholar
- Wallach, W., & Allen, C. (2010). Moral machines: Teaching robots right from wrong. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Winfield, A. (2013). Ethical robots: Some technical and ethical challenges. Description and slides of a presentation at EUCog meeting, Social and Ethical Aspects of Cognitive Systems. http://alanwinfield.blogspot.com.es/2013/10/ethical-robots-some-technical-and.html. Accessed 15 Jan 2014.