Content - Session I: Ethical and Legal Aspects of AI

Ethical & Legal Aspects of AI

Session abstract

Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications range from intelligent networks to autonomous robots and drones. In consequence, AI's ethical and legal impacts, its challenges and risks, are becoming more and more the subject of public discussion. Some of the questions to be considered include how researchers and businesses should improve their systems' fairness, accountability and transparency, how misuse of intelligent technologies is to be prevented, and how the relation between humans and machines should be defined. Do we want autonomous organisms and will they be our slaves, equals, superiors or all three? The aim of this session is to alert a wider range of stakeholders of the challenges with which AI will confront our society sooner or later.
Panelists are from various disciplines including AI, Law, and Ethics. The latter half of the session will be a fishbowl discussion, and the audience is expected to actively participate.

AI as a Mirror of our Society
Chair: Dr. Arisa Ema

How will the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) affect our daily life and employment? AI technologies do not stand alone but function within an ecosystem consisting of organizational cultures, legal systems and human values. As an STS researcher, I will discuss how human-machine interaction creates changes in the workplaces and our daily life by showing some fieldwork case studies. It is not our jobs but our tasks that machines will do in our place. Therefore, the question is, where we place human beings' values, and how to divide tasks that humans/machines should and should not do. AI can be treated as a mirror, so I would like to discuss this with the audience.

The Challenge of Autonomous Electronic Organisms
Prof. Dr. Christoph von der Malsburg

So far, AI is only a shadow of previous human thought, only much faster. All ethical responsibility for the consequences therefore still remain with us humans. There is, though, no hard barrier to the development of true autonomous intelligence in electronic form -- all that stands in the way is a decades-old conceptual framework based on deep-seated prejudices. Once these are put out of the way, the road will be open to electronic organisms capable of autonomously acting out general drives and intentions. What structure shall we give those drives to make sure not to come in conflict with them?

AI Guidelines & Principles on R&D & Utilization
Dr. Akemi Yokota

In Japan, “The Conference toward AI Network Society” (a conference of advisory experts to study social, economic, ethical, and legal issues) assessed the impacts and risks brought about by AI networking to each sector of society and released Draft AI R&D GUIDELINES for International Discussions and Draft AI Utilization Principles. Dr. Akemi Yokota is a member of the Committee on Impact and Risk Assessment and an expert in administrative law; especially for the environment, consumers, and information law. She will introduce the two drafts and present various viewpoints. The drafts and risk-assessment serve as a starting point for discussion on transnational-, cross-domain problems and solutions.

Autonomous Agents as Legal Persons? A Functional Approach
Dr. Jan-Erik Schirmer

Arguably, we live in an AI summer. Someday soon, intelligent robots, self-driving cars, and other autonomous agents will be an essential part of our everyday lives. But what are they in legal terms? Are we just looking at sophisticated objects? Or should such systems be treated as legal persons, somehow similar to humans? I will argue for a functional approach. The key question is: In which use cases would addressability as an agent help solve legal issues? From this point of view, the legal status of autonomous agents is not a matter of ‚either-or‘ – but in-between. A partial legal status on the basis of specific legal capacities can do the job.

The Ethics of Affective Computing
Prof. Dr. Laurence Devillers

Connected objects bring a new dimension to interaction and could become a means of influencing individuals. It is important that we understand the impact of these new tools on society and bring the subject of ethics and manipulation by machines to international attention. Users today are not aware of how these systems work and designers must be more transparent in explaining machine capabilities. The goal of the project is to create objects that are "ethical-by-design", to reflect on the international dimension of this subject, and to produce measures for the surveillance of these tools as well as economic, ethical and legal recommendations for decision-makers.