The Role of Engineers in Harmonising Human Values for AI Systems Design

Journal of Responsible Technology 10 (July):100031 (2022)
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Most engineers Fwork within social structures governing and governed by a set of values that primarily emphasise economic concerns. The majority of innovations derive from these loci. Given the effects of these innovations on various communities, it is imperative that the values they embody are aligned with those societies. Like other transformative technologies, artificial intelligence systems can be designed by a single organisation but be diffused globally, demonstrating impacts over time. This paper argues that in order to design for this broad stakeholder group, engineers must adopt a systems thinking approach that allows them to understand the sociotechnicity of artificial intelligence systems across sociocultural domains. It claims that value sensitive design, and envisioning cards in particular, provides a solid first step towards helping designers harmonise human values, understood across spatiotemporal boundaries, with economic values, rather than the former coming at the opportunity cost of the latter.

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Steven Umbrello
Università di Torino


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