ESIAI: Ethical and Social Implications of AI

This project will investigate the Artificial Intelligence’s (AI) realistic ethical risks and social harms.

AI is out-performing us to an increasing extent and in wider work-related and social tasks. The smart solutions that have already arrived come in soft forms, such as apps, web-bots, algorithms, and software of all kinds; and hard forms, such as robots, smart house appliances, smart watches, and other gadgets.

Yet, AI’s uptake must not demote the importance of addressing unprecedented negative consequences due to malicious actors or unintended emergent outcomes. Such consequences include employment disruption, the spread of misinformation in political discourse, unfair and biased algorithmic decision-making, or unpredictable and out-of-control social phenomenon in financial markets and other multi-agent systems. At the same time, nor should over-cautious constraints be placed on AI’s development and application, which would risk missing or delaying unprecedented opportunities for AI to have positive impacts, such as in medical diagnosis, crime reduction, or scientific inquiry.

The ESIAI project, will therefore be centred on three key areas: new, albeit realistic, ethical risks and harms due to missing guidelines, new ethical duties, and new ethical concepts shaping the design, development, and deployment of AI. The project will analyse these areas within the Digital Ethics Lab and consolidate collaborations with world-leading research users to develop original and innovative solutions to foster value-based and ethically sound technical solutions to the problems posed by AI.




The Ethics of AI: Challenges and Opportunities Doctoral Studentship 

Applications are invited for a three-year doctoral studentship, supported by funding donated by Google. The studentship will commence in October 2018. Eligible candidates will need to qualify for UK or EU fee status and be ordinarily resident in the UK or EU. The successful candidate will investigate the ethical aspects, requirements, and desiderata underpinning the design and development of AI and develop original and innovative research to foster value-based and ethically sound solutions to the problems posed by AI.

The student will be supervised by Prof. Luciano Floridi and Dr Mariarosaria Taddeo, and will be a member of, and collaborate with, the OII’s Digital Ethics Lab (DELab).

For the application pack and further details on application process please see: