Abstract: Emerging technologies promise to play a transformative role in our society, enabling driverless cars, enhanced accuracy and efficiency in disease mapping, greater and less expensive access to certain consumer services, including consumer financial services. Discussions regarding the role of emerging technologies increasingly center on the development and integration of artificial intelligence technologies or AI—an assemblage of technologies that rely on a variety of computational techniques. This Essay offers a modest primer outlining a general understanding of the contours and contributions of AI, as well as introducing the articulated benefits and limits of these technologies. This Essay examines the increasingly pervasive use of artificial intelligence in society through two key areas of ethical and policy concerns: (i) privacy, surveillance and the appropriate boundaries for machine-human interaction, and (ii) bias and discrimination. As we assess the merits of AI, this Essay embraces the robust and lively debate and raises probing questions initiated by scholars, activists, industry participants, and governments regarding the ethical implications of embracing AI. This Essay encourages adopters of AI to carefully consider the impacts of integrating AI on vulnerable and marginalized groups. To accomplish this goal, this Essay advocates for affected stakeholders to engage in a collaborative, interdisciplinary colloquy examining the consequences of incorporating AI technologies. Finally, this Essay serves as an introduction to a Special Issue dedicated to sharing novel thinking and approaches to address underexplored challenges posed by AI. Addressing a range of issues discussed in the debate regarding the promises and perils of AI, the contributors to this volume offer critical insights, frameworks, and tools for evaluating the issues from the perspectives of diverse stakeholders. This Special Issue seeks to shed light on some of the hidden implications of artificial intelligence on the values, institutions, and structures that form the foundation of a just society.
Keywords: artificial intelligence, ethics, values, policy framework, privacy, bias
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