Ethics and Artificial Intelligence

In Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics. pp. 1-5 (2021)
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A subdiscipline has emerged around AI ethics, which is comprised of a wide array of individuals: computer scientists, ethicists, cognitive scientists, roboticists, legal professionals, economists, sociologists, gender, and race theorists. This has led to a very interesting branch of research, addressing issues surrounding the development and use of AI. This chapter will give a very brief snapshot of some of the most pertinent ethical concerns. Many of the issues in the Big Data Ethics chapter in this collection are often applicable to AI ethics, because of the data that these technologies retrieve, store, and use, so will not be duplicated here.1 While data-related issues are not new or unique to AI, AI does hold the potential to dramatically retrieve and analyze data that would not be possible otherwise. Data is being used in unique and transformative ways, such as the use of facial recognition to identify individuals from photos or CCTV; AI robots to retrieve live video feed about the patient(s) that it is monitoring; or in new ways, such as self-driving cars collecting an abundance of data about our surroundings, how we drive, and passengers in the car. There is the potential to infringe on individuals’ privacy, restriction of resources, or at worst, the creation of a surveillance society.

Author Profiles

Mark Ryan
Wageningen University and Research


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