Putting Ethical AI to the Vote
I will present the 'virtual democracy' framework for the design of ethical AI. In a nutshell, the framework consists of three steps: first, collect preferences from voters on example dilemmas; second, learn models of their preferences, which generalize to any (previously unseen) dilemma; and third, at runtime, predict the voters' preferences on the current dilemma, and aggregate these virtual 'votes' using a voting rule to reach a decision. I will focus on two instantiations of this approach: a proof-of concept system that decides ethical dilemmas potentially faced by autonomous vehicles, and a decision support tool designed to help a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit allocate food donations to recipient organizations. These projects bridge AI, social choice theory, statistics, and human-computer interaction; I will discuss challenges in all of these areas.
Ariel Procaccia is Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University. He works on a broad and dynamic set of problems related to AI, algorithms, economics, and society. His distinctions include the Social Choice and Welfare Prize (2020), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award (2015), and a Sloan Research Fellowship (2015). To make his research accessible to the public, he has founded the not-for-profit websites Spliddit.org and RoboVote.org, and he contributes regularly to Bloomberg Opinion.