What Are the Ethics in Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the field of study that aims to create machines that can perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence. It enables computers and other devices to make decisions, take actions, and even appear to think as humans do. AI systems have been used in many domains, including medical diagnosis, stock trading, robot control, and self-driving cars. 

There are two primary types of AI:  

  • General Purpose AI 
  • Domain-Specific AI 

General Purpose AI is designed to be able to perform any intellectual task that a human being can. Examples include IBM’s Watson, which was designed to play Jeopardy! Google’s AlphaGo system and DeepMind’s Alpha Zero system for playing chess or go (a Chinese board game). These general AIs require large amounts of data about how humans behave, so they can learn from this data how people solve problems in those domains and how they should solve those problems themselves. 

Domain-Specific AI is specialized for performing specific tasks in particular areas, such as healthcare diagnostics or financial trading transactions, based on very little data compared with a general AI approach. It is because they require only very specific knowledge about these tasks (e.g., thousands of pictures instead of dozens per photo category). 

AI is often confused with Machine Learning, a subset of AI. Machine Learning allows computers to learn from data without being explicitly programmed. 

For example, a Machine Learning algorithm might use past data to predict whether you will likely be diagnosed with cancer-based on your symptoms. Machine Learning is often used alongside other AI techniques, such as Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Deep learning involves training complex neural networks using large amounts of data. 

NLP is the ability of computers to understand human languages. For example, imagine you tell a computer, “I’m going to the movies this weekend”—this is called natural language processing (NLP). NLP allows AIs to go beyond simple commands and instructions by understanding what you mean.

AI is a broad term that refers to machines that can perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence. These include things like learning, planning, and problem-solving. The term was coined in 1956 by John McCarthy, who defined it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.” Now let’s explain Artificial Intelligence ethics. 

What are AI ethics? 

What are AI ethics? AI ethics are the study of the moral and ethical considerations involved in developing and using Artificial Intelligence. The field of AI ethics does not only focus on what is morally right or wrong for a specific machine but also on how to approach important questions such as: How can we make sure that autonomous machines act following our values? How can we ensure that they have less probability of harming humans than other technologies? What is our responsibility as designers and users of ethical AI systems? 

Ethics in AI are also referred to as machine ethics or computational ethics. As an emerging discipline, it is often unclear what constitutes “good” or “bad” behavior for AI algorithms. However, several principles guide researchers in this area: 

  • Algorithms should be designed to be accountable and inherently trustworthy; if an algorithm causes harm, it should be possible to determine which parts were responsible so they can be fixed or replaced. This means that while humans may need some time before they understand why something happened, computers shouldn’t need any explanation at all because everything will always be explicit within their codebase. 
  • Automation should not result in job loss. Rather than replacing people who would otherwise occupy those positions themselves (like waiters, for instance), companies should look into automating tasks where machines can do better work than humans due to being faster/more accurate/less prone to error, etc. 
  • Artificial Intelligence systems should produce the least amount of harm. However, this does not mean these systems won’t ever produce any harm since no machine will ever know exactly how its actions will affect other people/things. For example, someone might get hurt if an autonomous car crashes into another vehicle at full speed. To prevent this from happening again, the company would have to go back and check that its algorithm is not biased against certain groups of people. This could mean running it through a series of tests to ensure that no one is being discriminated against by their Machine Learning process. 
  • Companies should ensure that their Artificial Intelligence systems are not biased; to prevent discrimination against certain groups of people, companies should ensure that the AI they create is not biased toward anyone. 

Principles for AI Ethics 

Principles for AI ethics are a set of rules and guidelines that are meant to help protect society from the negative effects of Artificial Intelligence. These principles aim to protect people, the environment, and the economy. 

AI ethics revolves around four main areas: 

1. Safety:  

This refers to how well an AI can avoid harming humans. This includes things like not causing physical harm or using offensive language. It also includes things like protecting intellectual property rights and privacy. 

2. Security: 

This refers to how well an AI can prevent other systems from attacking it or taking advantage of it in some way. It also refers to how well an AI can protect itself from being hacked or manipulated by humans who want to use it for nefarious means (like stealing money). 

3. Privacy: 

This refers to how much information an AI system knows about you, where it gets its data from, how it stores that information, what kind of analysis tools it uses with that data, etc. Basically, everything related to your personal information is being used/shared by any technology company! 

4. Fairness: 

This refers to whether or not your rights as a consumer are being protected when interacting with a company’s services/products. 

8 Principles of AI Ethics 

AI systems should be designed and operated to be safe, secure, and private. The designers and builders of intelligent autonomous systems must: 

  • Ensure that they are robust, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • Incorporate mechanisms that reflect societal values and aims as they interact with people outside their immediate purview.
  • Ensure that their creations are adaptive so that they can learn from experience over time to improve their performance and capabilities.
  • Consider the full range of human needs in their design, for example, by promoting safety, privacy, trustworthiness, fairness, transparency, accountability, and inclusion in society through AI technologies.”
  • Ensure that they can explain how decisions are made by their creations so that people can understand them and take action to correct any mistakes that are made.
  • Confirm that these technologies are designed in ways that respect human rights, including privacy, freedom of thought and speech, bodily integrity, and freedom from cruel or degrading treatment.”
  • Consider the impact on society when developing these technologies.

Challenges in AI Ethics 

As a new field, AI ethics is still in the process of being developed. There are many ethics and risks of AI. There are no clear rules or guidelines for AI ethics because it is a relatively new field. As such, of these AI ethical issues, it can be challenging to determine whether or not any given program has acted ethically when there are no established protocols for determining what constitutes ethical behavior. 

Additionally, the complexity of Artificial Intelligence makes it difficult to examine its capabilities and limitations with regard to ethical considerations. For example, if a self-driving car were programmed to make split-second decisions about whether or not it should save its passengers at the expense of pedestrians crossing the street, how could we know whether or not these decisions were morally sound? Without knowing all possible outcomes of these actions—and their consequences—it would be impossible for us humans (or even other computers) to judge them truly objectively from a moral standpoint. This problem is compounded when considering that Machine Learning algorithms vary widely depending on their training data sets and other parameters (such as “fitness functions”). 

In fact, many people believe that some form of regulation may be necessary before Artificial Intelligence becomes widespread enough for us humans even realize there’s anything wrong with our creations’ behavior patterns; these individuals fear that without proper oversight by experts versed both in technology development and ethics research fields like philosophy/political science/economics, etc., society will suffer greatly due to irresponsible use cases involving Artificial Intelligence technology devices such as autonomous cars driving around streets full of pedestrians who might not understand what they’re witnessing. 

This same scenario applies equally well across many industries where autonomous machines are becoming commonplace, including manufacturing plants where robots perform tasks intended by humans so efficiently they’re impacting unemployment rates worldwide. 


AI’s ethics are something we must consider as quickly as possible. Many questions need answers, such as whether or not robots should be given equal human rights. Should a universal set of rules govern AI applications across the board? These questions and more need to be answered for us to create a safe future with AI. However, to learn the ethics of AI in detail, you must consider the UNext and IIM Indore’s Executive PG Diploma in Management & Artificial Intelligence. 

Related Articles

Please wait while your application is being created.
Request Callback