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AI Ethics, The Trolley Problem Reimagined
Artificial Intelligence   Latest   Machine Learning

AI Ethics, The Trolley Problem Reimagined

Author(s): Caden Ornt

Originally published on Towards AI.

AI is increasingly becoming a part of everyday life, but teaching it to make ethical decisions may be problematic without universal ethical rules.
Photo by Brigitta Schneiter on Unsplash

The Trolley Problem is a classic thought experiment that puts forth a multitude of ethical dilemmas involving life or death situations.

You might assume that the answer to these problems could be simply solved by assuming that the option with the least fatalities would universally be regarded as the most ethical option.

However, you would be wrong. Let me explain.

While there is a seemingly endless number of dilemmas that have been created, I have selected two of my favorites to share here in order to focus on the implications of AI and less on the dilemma itself. However, if you are interested, check out this article I wrote about The Trolley Problem itself.

Why can’t we agree on what it means to be moral and ethical? And the unlikely connection to a hypothetical runaway…

Take a moment to imagine yourself overlooking an out-of-control trolley as it barrels toward a construction zone. Within that construction zone, five workers are repairing the tracks.

Photo by Tommy Krombacher on Unsplash

We will assume, for the sake of argument, that if the trolley is allowed to continue on its current path, it will surely result in the death of the five workers.

Thankfully, you are standing… Read the full blog for free on Medium.

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Published via Towards AI

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