Paper: Open-endedness in AI systems, cellular evolution and intellectual discussions

One of the biggest challenges that artificial intelligence (AI) research is facing in recent times is to develop algorithms and systems that are not only good at performing a specific intelligent task but also good at learning a very diverse of skills somewhat like humans do. In other words, the goal is to be able to mimic biological evolution which has produced all the living species on this planet and which seems to have no end to its creativity. The process of intellectual discussions is also somewhat similar to biological evolution in this regard and is responsible for many of the innovative discoveries and inventions that scientists and engineers have made in the past. In this paper, we present an information theoretic analogy between the process of discussions and the molecular dynamics within a cell, showing that there is a common process of information exchange at the heart of these two seemingly different processes, which can perhaps help us in building AI systems capable of open-ended innovation. We also discuss the role of consciousness in this process and present a framework for the development of open-ended AI systems.


Paper: AIR5: Five Pillars of Artificial Intelligence Research

In this article, we provide and overview of what we consider to be some of the most pressing research questions facing the field of artificial intelligence (AI); as well as its sub-field of computational intelligence (CI). We demarcate these questions using five unique Rs – namely,
(i) Rationalizability,
(ii) Resilience,
(iii) Reproducibility,
(iv) Realism, and
(v) Responsibility.
Just as air serves as the basic element of biological life, the term AIR5 – cumulatively referring to the five aforementioned Rs – is introduced herein to mark some of the basic elements of artificial life (supporting the sustained growth of AI and CI). A brief summary of each of the Rs is presented, highlighting their relevance as pillars of future research in this arena.


Article: The Whitepaper: Everyday Ethics for Artificial Intelligence

This document represents the beginning of a conversation defining Everyday Ethics for AI. Ethics must be embedded into the design and development process from the very beginning of AI creation. This is meant to stimulate ideas and provoke thought. The idea here is to start simple and iterate. Rather than strive for perfection first, we’re releasing this to allow all who read and use this to comment, critique and participate in all future iterations. So please experiment, play, use, and break what you find here and send us your feedback. Designers and developers of AI systems are encouraged to be aware of these concepts and seize opportunities to intentionally put these ideas into practice. As you work with your team and others, please share this guide with them.


Article: Everyday Ethics for Artificial Intelligence

Everyday Ethics for Artificial Intelligence is a framework for AI ethics that you and your team can immediately put into practice. We partnered with Francesca Rossi, IBM’s global leader for AI ethics, to distill a variety of information and perspectives into a digestible and actionable guide for designers and developers.


Paper: KI, Philosophie, Logik

This is a short (and personal) introduction in German to the connections between artificial intelligence, philosophy, and logic, and to the author’s work. Dies ist eine kurze (und persoenliche) Einfuehrung in die Zusammenhaenge zwischen Kuenstlicher Intelligenz, Philosophie, und Logik, und in die Arbeiten des Autors.


Paper: Impossibility and Uncertainty Theorems in AI Value Alignment (or why your AGI should not have a utility function)

Utility functions or their equivalents (value functions, objective functions, loss functions, reward functions, preference orderings) are a central tool in most current machine learning systems. These mechanisms for defining goals and guiding optimization run into practical and conceptual difficulty when there are independent, multi-dimensional objectives that need to be pursued simultaneously and cannot be reduced to each other. Ethicists have proved several impossibility theorems that stem from this origin; those results appear to show that there is no way of formally specifying what it means for an outcome to be good for a population without violating strong human ethical intuitions (in such cases, the objective function is a social welfare function). We argue that this is a practical problem for any machine learning system (such as medical decision support systems or autonomous weapons) or rigidly rule-based bureaucracy that will make high stakes decisions about human lives: such systems should not use objective functions in the strict mathematical sense. We explore the alternative of using uncertain objectives, represented for instance as partially ordered preferences, or as probability distributions over total orders. We show that previously known impossibility theorems can be transformed into uncertainty theorems in both of those settings, and prove lower bounds on how much uncertainty is implied by the impossibility results. We close by proposing two conjectures about the relationship between uncertainty in objectives and severe unintended consequences from AI systems.


Paper: Ethically Aligned Opportunistic Scheduling for Productive Laziness

In artificial intelligence (AI) mediated workforce management systems (e.g., crowdsourcing), long-term success depends on workers accomplishing tasks productively and resting well. This dual objective can be summarized by the concept of productive laziness. Existing scheduling approaches mostly focus on efficiency but overlook worker wellbeing through proper rest. In order to enable workforce management systems to follow the IEEE Ethically Aligned Design guidelines to prioritize worker wellbeing, we propose a distributed Computational Productive Laziness (CPL) approach in this paper. It intelligently recommends personalized work-rest schedules based on local data concerning a worker’s capabilities and situational factors to incorporate opportunistic resting and achieve superlinear collective productivity without the need for explicit coordination messages. Extensive experiments based on a real-world dataset of over 5,000 workers demonstrate that CPL enables workers to spend 70% of the effort to complete 90% of the tasks on average, providing more ethically aligned scheduling than existing approaches.


Paper: Towards a Framework Combining Machine Ethics and Machine Explainability

We find ourselves surrounded by a rapidly increasing number of autonomous and semi-autonomous systems. Two grand challenges arise from this development: Machine Ethics and Machine Explainability. Machine Ethics, on the one hand, is concerned with behavioral constraints for systems, so that morally acceptable, restricted behavior results; Machine Explainability, on the other hand, enables systems to explain their actions and argue for their decisions, so that human users can understand and justifiably trust them. In this paper, we try to motivate and work towards a framework combining Machine Ethics and Machine Explainability. Starting from a toy example, we detect various desiderata of such a framework and argue why they should and how they could be incorporated in autonomous systems. Our main idea is to apply a framework of formal argumentation theory both, for decision-making under ethical constraints and for the task of generating useful explanations given only limited knowledge of the world. The result of our deliberations can be described as a first version of an ethically motivated, principle-governed framework combining Machine Ethics and Machine Explainability


Paper: Personalized explanation in machine learning

Explanation in machine learning and related fields such as artificial intelligence aims at making machine learning models and their decisions understandable to humans. Existing work suggests that personalizing explanations might help to improve understandability. In this work, we derive a conceptualization of personalized explanation by defining and structuring the problem based on prior work on machine learning explanation, personalization (in machine learning) and concepts and techniques from other domains such as privacy and knowledge elicitation. We perform a categorization of explainee information used in the process of personalization as well as describing means to collect this information. We also identify three key explanation properties that are amendable to personalization: complexity, decision information and presentation. We also enhance existing work on explanation by introducing additional desiderata and measures to quantify the quality of personalized explanations.


Article: Why Data Is Never Raw

In everyday usage, the term ‘data’ is associated with a jumble of notions about information, science, and knowledge. Countless reports marvel at the astonishing volumes of data being produced and manipulated, the efficiencies and new opportunities this has made possible, and the myriad ways in which society is changing as a result. We speak of ‘raw’ data and laud it for its independence from human judgment. On this basis, ‘data-driven’ (or ‘evidence-based’) decision-making is widely endorsed. Yet data’s purported freedom from human subjectivity also seems to allow us to invest it with agency: ‘Let the data speak for itself,’ for ‘The data doesn’t lie.’
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