July 9, 2019 – 5pm

Theory Media Department, Room 115

Open to all students!

Facebook Event

Lecture by KIM new research associate Maya Indira Ganesh within the framework of the course The Moral Machine: On the Automation of Ethics by Matteo Pasquinelli. The course studies the political implications of Artificial Intelligence systems that are applied in different sectors of the economy and society to automate not only simple tasks of perception but, increasingly, also complex ethical decisions. 

Abstract. We are told that a ‘fully’ autonomous vehicle will have the capacity to make an astonishing range of decisions, from the banal to the complex, as it navigates the world. It will be able to recognise a cyclist, distinguish a dog from a ball, and follow traffic rules. It also has to figure out what to do when something unexpected happens, like a child suddenly dashing across the street chasing her dog that was chasing a cyclist. Who or what should the autonomous vehicle avoid hitting – dog, ball, cyclist or child?

What if the cyclist is also a child? This scenario mirrors the conundrum generated by the thought experiment, the Trolley Problem, which has become a popular framework for the ‘ethics of autonomous driving’. In this talk, Maya Indira Ganesh will present how the Trolley Problem, and other models from Philosophy, Economics, Applied Ethics and Computer Science, are being proposed as approaches for machines learning to compute ethics. She will discuss various typologies of computational ethics emerging therein, and the apparatuses enabling this. She argues that ethics as a computational output is both a measure of machine autonomy, and, confusingly, a measurement device as well.