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Ethics and AI

Trey Brant, PhD. & William “Bill” Brant, PE

Here we go! We are absolutely more effected by Artificial Intelligence (AI) every day. You and your family are effected. Since we are all effected, does AI require ethical guidance and intelligence from human beings?

In this course, we describe what aspects of ethics, personal morality, and freedom AI lacks, along with several obstacles we all confront with increases in computational power, energy-use, legislation, ethics in data science, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning. In our course, the main focus is on human intelligence and moral life as well as what experts of AI, professional ethics, and AI ethics have to inform us about impending problems with technologies and ethical decision-making.

With new generative AI language models, we confront many difficulties with languages, especially concerning moral reasoning, opposing moralities, and conflicting ethical theories. How are we supposed to interpret these ideas coming from AI?

We might say with conviction that neither a utopian paradise nor a dystopian, existential hell awaits us with AI. However, there are expectations of massive job losses (replacements with AI), underemployment, and pay raises for the few who work in positions that complement AI. Those jobs with high complementarity to AI (some engineers, architects, lawyers, judges, surgeons) will involve increases in salaries while others will see decreases in jobs and wages, according to spokespeople of the International Monetary Fund and AI experts in 2024.

The early 20th century has witnessed the rise of new, unexpected, and of unknown but upcoming abilities and skills concerning Machine Learning.

Our course will compare and contrast humans' skills requiring intelligence with AI's outputs. For example, we leave the dialectic (art of investigating and discussing truths of opinions) open for your interpretation as well as programming and uses of AI. Thus, we will need to interpret whether AI will positively impact our dialectics or negatively impact them with phenomena, such as "deep fakes." Deep fakes can include fake newscasters as video and audio footage, allowing a few to manipulate many others with "fake news stories."

This absence of a moral sense, from which AI can feel ethically obligated, is argued by us to be an essential skill of human beings. Life is also inherently valuable for living beings as opposed to non-living things. We question the prioritization of values, especially vital ones (necessities, basic needs of living and reproductive organisms) and moral values, for AI in the world.

You will see two internal moral senses, "strength of self-blame" (self-accusation, disapproval of oneself) and "height of self-praise" (self-approval, adoration of one's own acts) in relation to AI. The first involves moral shortcomings, and the second involves moral achievements, especially concerning fulfillments of moral values. We answer questions about important values to distinguish between human and artificial types of intelligence, asking: What are values? What is valuable?

We offer graphic designs to aid you in your learning experience and provide you with crucial ideas concerning values that enhance your skills to interact with AI in multiple environments. In essence, AI is able to interact intelligently with various types of values, including economic (price, use-values), mathematical (quantities, figures' geometric values (degrees of angles)), and logical values (truth, falsity), etc. However, other values are off limits to AI, such as certain aspects of aesthetic and moral values, despite appearances that AI can describe them well and formulate arguments, counter-arguments, retorts, drawings, audio, and video concerning them.

To facilitate your understanding of the material, we compare and contrast AI and content concerning ethics and moralities, cultures and norms that it produces in comparison to human intelligence and other species. The comparisons with AI especially include generative language models contrasted with human voluntary behavior, ideas of freedom of the will, unfreedom of the will, moral values, disvalues (greed, cowardice, reckless foolishness), persons, actions with purpose, habits, and characters.

From a full digestion of our course material, you will be better equipped to navigate AI models, including uses of Machine Learning and Deep Learning, and the associated science, data science. You will develop as a professional, increasing your knowledge of ethics, logic, and dialectics. Furthermore, you will be ready to engage in dialectics in ways that include AI for enhancements, adding value to society and social groups via achieving moral values.

You will learn to apply practical ethics (study of practice for guidance in moral life) to AI, to you personally, and to humanity as a whole. We prepare you to consider ways of utilizing AI to increase professionalism (safety, efficiency, fairness, effective communication) in your own profession throughout your career. In this course, we demonstrate the "objectivity of ethics," despite appearances that knowledgeable systems (ones with immense datasets) give us concerning the subjectivity of ethics and lack of priority of certain moral values sets over others.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.