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Group Agency and Artificial Intelligence

List, Christian (2019) Group Agency and Artificial Intelligence. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The aim of this exploratory paper is to discuss a sometimes recognized but still under-appreciated parallel between group agency and artificial intelligence. As both phenomena involve non-human goal-directed agents that can make a difference to the social world, they raise some similar moral and regulatory challenges, which require us to rethink some of our anthropocentric moral assumptions. Are humans always responsible for those entities’ actions, or could the entities bear responsibility themselves? Could the entities engage in normative reasoning? Could they even have rights and a moral status? I will tentatively defend the (increasingly widely held) view that, under certain conditions, artificial intelligent systems, like corporate entities, might qualify as responsible moral agents and as holders of limited rights and legal personhood. I will further suggest that regulators should permit the use of autonomous artificial systems in high-stakes settings only if they are engineered to function as moral (not just intentional) agents and/or there is some liability-transfer arrangement in place. I will finally raise the possibility that if artificial systems ever became phenomenally conscious, there might be a case for extending a stronger moral status to them, but argue that, as of now, this remains very hypothetical.


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Item Type: Preprint
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List, Christian
Keywords: Group agency, artificial intelligence, intentional systems, intentional stance, social software, ethics, responsibility, consciousness
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Artificial Intelligence > AI and Ethics
Specific Sciences > Artificial Intelligence
General Issues > Ethical Issues
Specific Sciences > Sociology
General Issues > Technology
Depositing User: Christian List
Date Deposited: 16 May 2019 13:58
Last Modified: 16 May 2019 13:58
Item ID: 15980
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Artificial Intelligence > AI and Ethics
Specific Sciences > Artificial Intelligence
General Issues > Ethical Issues
Specific Sciences > Sociology
General Issues > Technology
Date: 16 May 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15980

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