As If Human

Nigel Shadbolt, Roger Hampson


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Yale University Press
14 May 2024
ISBN: 9780300268294
272 pages

From the publisher

A new approach to the challenges surrounding artificial intelligence that argues for assessing AI actions as if they came from a human being
Intelligent machines present us every day with urgent ethical challenges. Is the facial recognition software used by an agency fair? When algorithms determine questions of justice, finance, health, and defense, are the decisions proportionate, equitable, transparent, and accountable? How do we harness this extraordinary technology to empower rather than oppress?

Despite increasingly sophisticated programming, artificial intelligences share none of our essential human characteristics—sentience, physical sensation, emotional responsiveness, versatile general intelligence. However, Nigel Shadbolt and Roger Hampson argue, if we assess AI decisions, products, and calls for action as if they came from a human being, we can avert a disastrous and amoral future. The authors go beyond the headlines about rampant robots to apply established moral principles in shaping our AI future. Their new framework constitutes a how-to for building a more ethical machine intelligence.