Philosophy and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

Course Introduction
This course aims at exploring the History, Nature and Future of Artificial Intelligence from Philosophy and Ethics point of view. Its objective is to help students realize proper views and approaches to develop future Artificial Intelligence, have deeper analysis and thoughts on the impact of Artificial Intelligence to the future (Human-Machine) society, and prevent existential and potential risks. The course will also introduce most recent progress on Philosophy and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and encourage students to challenge current ideas and establish new efforts and frameworks. Students are required to have public presentations and debates.

Course Code£º251M7003H
Course Orientation: The course is provided by School of Artificial Intelligence, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and is mainly for Master and Ph.D candidates.
Course Location: University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Course History:
2017-2018 Program: Summer Semester, June 27th-July 19th, 2018
2018-2019 Program: Autumn Semester, September 21st-November 16th, 2018

Course Program
Lecture 1: The History on the Philosophy and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
Lecture 2: The Nature and Future of Artificial Intelligence
Lecture 3: Mechanical Brain and Its Ethics
Lecture 4: Theories for Language and Knowledge
Lecture 5: Philosophy of Human Cognition and Consciousness
Lecture 6: Philosophy for Computational Models of Brains and Brain-inspired Artificial Intelligence
Lecture 7: Machine Emotion, Consciousness and Their Ethics
Lecture 8: Ethics for Autonomous Weapons
Lecture 9: Moral Machine and Moral Human-Machine Society
Lecture 10: International Efforts and Limitations of Artificial Intelligence Principles and Ethics

Course Chair Professor:

  Yi Zeng. Professor and Deputy Director at Research Center for Brain-inspired Intelligence, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is also a Professor at School of Future Technology, School of Artificial Intelligence at University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Yi is a Principal Investigator at Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is a Berggrun Fellow. His research interests include but not limited to Brain-inspired Intelligence, Brain and Cognitive Modeling, Philosophy and Ethics of Atificial Intelligence.

Words for Students:
When talking about current research, technology, and industrial development of Artificial Intelligence, we always hear voices like: ¡°Artificial Intelligence is coming. Let¡¯s Run, and Run Faster!¡± But the real situation is that we are even not sure WHERE TO, or even which Direction we should run for. If we are going to the right direction, we should just go for it and do not fear about how far it will be. But if we go to the wrong direction, where do we bring future Artificial Intelligence to?

Since the birth of Artificial Intelligence as a scientific field, it is never independent. AI is closely related and will get inspirations from Brain and Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology, Complex Systems, Developmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, and Anthropology, etc. The Philosophy of AI will enable pure thoughtful considerations for AI with a synthetic and unified view from the above field of studies, and help us realize the nature and future of Biological and Artificial Intelligence.

Ethics comes from the philosophical exploration of how human should behave. Ethical considerations emerged soon after the birth on the thoughts of Thinking Machine and Artificial Intelligence. The ethics of AI should not only consider the ethical guidelines from human to machine, but also should have deep thoughts on moral considerations FOR Human on how to interact and cope with intelligent machines, future conscious mechanical lives, and the whole Human-Machine society. AI ethics is not only about how robots and machines provide better service to humanity, but should really about how to construct the harmony Human-Machine society.

When we are in the process of making advancements for AI, we should go deeper into our minds and hearts, exploring and understanding the Philosophy and Ethics of AI. Let¡¯s find the right way to start and to go, and go for it with our continuous efforts!
--------Yi Zeng. Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Course Guest Professors:

  Vincent C.M¨¹ller. University Academic Fellow at Interdisciplinary Ethics Applied Centre (IDEA), School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science, University of Leeds. He is also a Professor of Philosophy at Division of Humanities & Social Sciences, Anatolia College/ACT in Greece. He founded the conference series on Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence (PTAI). He authored Oxford handbook of the philosophy of artificial intelligence (Oxford University Press), Fundamental issues of artificial intelligence (Springer).

Words for Students:
This course will cover philosophical issues raised by current and future Artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is perhaps unique among technical subjects in that it has raised not only fundamental questions about the nature of learning, perception, reasoning, computing, language, action, interaction, consciousness, humankind, life etc. etc., but also contributed to answering these basic questions. The philosophy of AI stands in this tradition of addressing fundamental problems in a discipline, which we can contribute to through philosophical work: Is cognition computation? Does AI require cognitive science or neuroscience? What is the role of the body and the environment? Does cognition require meaningful symbols or conscious experience? What is the role of learning in AI and cognition?

The ethical issues of AI are of two main types: 1) Will AI undermine certain values, esp. moral responsibility, compassion, honesty and human dignity? 2) Will AI have negative consequences on the well-being of humans (and other sentient beings)? E.g. robot warfare, total surveillance, loss of jobs or a more uneven distribution of wealth. More autonomous robots may lead to less human control, and in the long run they may lead to a situation that is not beneficial to humans, perhaps even threatening the existence of humankind.
-------- Vincent C. M¨¹ller (University of Leeds)

  Yingjin Xu. Professor at School of Philosophy, Fudan University. His main research interests include but not limited to Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy of Language.     Xiaoli Liu. Professor at School of Renmin University. Her research interests include but not limited to Logic, Philosophy of Mind and Cognition, etc.