Is AI Ethical?

Is artificial intelligence ethical?

Target audience – Secondary school humanities teacher, social studies teacher

Age Group –  14-18

Short overview of scenario

The purpose of this scenario is dual. On one side, it clarifies the ethical guidelines of AI within the EU. On the other side, it explores the complexity of the ethical issues. 

Ethical guidelines

Lots of ethical questions play a major role in the debate about AI and ethics. These are complex issues, as there is often no universally accepted truth. Fortunately, there are more and more ethical guidelines to ensure the development of reliable AI systems. General principles can be derived from these guidelines, such as fairness, transparency, honesty, reliability and privacy. Ethical principles and guidelines can help us agree on what is important to us in order to develop AI applications that comply with them.

Complexity of ethical issues

In practice, there are dilemmas that can lead to conflicts over values. Everyone has their own perspective and there are different ethical currents that are sometimes ideologically opposed. 

Scenario description

In practice, there are dilemmas that can lead to conflicts over values. Everyone has their own perspective, and there are different ethical currents that are sometimes ideologically opposed. 

We all agree that you should not kill. But what do you do if a terrorist tries to shoot a hundred people? Shouldn’t a drone with an autonomous weapon intervene then? Ethical questions are complex, even without artificial intelligence involved. Ethical principles and guidelines can help us agree on what is important to us, so that we can develop AI applications that meet these requirements. In this first part of the scenario, we’ll explore the ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI.

In the second part of the scenario, we consider the complexity of ethical issues faced by the developers of self-driving cars. How should the cars be programmed to make ethical decisions when faced with (life) threatening dilemmas? The approach used here is a scaffolding game/discussion based on the well-known ‘trolley problem’. 

Scenario Objectives

  • Raising awareness on the ethical issues concerning AI.
  • Stimulating the ability to express and argue an opinion.

Requirements

  • Computer and beamer 
  • Internet (if this isn’t available, the teacher has to download some fragments before) 


Outline plan 

Ethical guidelines

ActivityExploring the ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI.
Timing100’’ (including watching documentary)
MethodsPractising view- and listening skills by watching a documentaryselect information from a spoken textOrganising information and seeking connections
What the tutor is doing1. IntroductionTitle Why is ethics crucial in the development of AI?URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzYG56HLxbI&feature=youtu.beDescription  Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and ethical dilemmas.  Video form UNESCO. Duration: 1 minute. 
2. Lesson plan– Ask if anyone knows the meaning of the term “ethic”- Come to a class-formed definition based on the input of the studentsE.g. “ (…) The discipline concerned with what is morally good and bad and morally right and wrong (…)- Britannica.com– Tell the students that the development of AI also involves ethical issues for which finding an answer is quite a challenge. – Then tell the students that they are going to see a documentary on ethics in AI. They should watch it carefully and write down some key issues on a sheet of paper:The areas of AI mentioned where there are ethical issuesspecific examples of ethical complications
– Choose one of the following fragments:
Title Do you know AI or AI knows you better?URLhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im0XTC91qMI&feature=youtu.beDescription Artificial Intelligence and dilemmas regarding the replacement of humans in different areas. Thinking Ethics of AI (version with multilingual subtitles). Source: Video from UNESCO. Duration: 18 minutes.
Title AI and Ethics | Toby Walsh URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSsQApXQGsIDescription Professor Walsh is a “rock star” of Australia’s digital revolution and a leading researcher in Artificial Intelligence.‘Bots behaving badly: In his TEDxBlighStreet talk, Toby speaks about ‘good old-fashioned bad behaviour’ in a thoroughly modern context, and the ethical implications of AI.-> with a humorous touchSource: TEDXDuration: 8’32’’
Title Artificial intelligence and its ethics | DW DocumentaryURL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Izd2qOgOGQI Description Documental about ethical issues in Artificial Intelligence.Source: DW – Documentaries. Duration: 42 minutes. 

– Have the students come to the blackboard one by one to write down two things they have written down on their sheet. What has already been written down by a classmate does not need to be repeated. -> you can also use a digital tool like padlet, Miro, Mural,…
– Ask if the students have any examples of their own 
– Structure everything that has been noted by underlining each domain in a particular colour. Then use the corresponding colours for the specific examples/difficulties. 
–  Summarize 

EU Ethics guidelines concerning trustworthy Artificial Intelligence:Accountability & Control: to identify where ethical issues may arise in an AI system.Value Alignment: To reflect on the importance of designing impactful intelligent systems that respect human rightsUser Data Rights, Privacy & Security: To think critically about what we should allow AI systems to do and how these intelligent systems should be implemented in our society.AI Rights: Reflect on the profound consequences, which could transform our societies and challenge what it means to be human.
What the learners are doing– brainstorming about the meaning of the term “ethics”- watching and listening carefully- write down keywords while watching the documentary- updating the word cloud on the blackboard – reflect on examples from their own daily lives
Equipment and SupportComputerBeamerspeakersInternet (or downloaded fragment)Papers and pencils for the studentsblackboard or flipover Chalk or markers in different colours
Link to AI@School CurriculumThe Ethics of AI – To raise awareness on the ethical issues concerning AI
Assessment of/for learningCheck the students’ awareness of the need for ethical guidelines for AI
Check whether the pupils can link the ethical guidelines to domains and examples from their daily lives. 
Resources/links/relevant content/ExamplesDo you know AI or AI knows you better?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im0XTC91qMI&feature=youtu.be
AI and Ethics | Toby Walsh https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSsQApXQGsI
Artificial intelligence and its ethics | DW Documentaryhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Izd2qOgOGQI 

Complexity of ethical issues

ActivityScaffolding game/discussion leading to the understanding that ethics makes it difficult to let AI make certain choices.E.g programming self driving cars  
Timing100’
MethodsThe teacher, provides a number of statements based on the ‘trolley problem’. . The students each time take a stand and express their opinion. They learn to think critically about ethical issues. They learn that there are different opinions and that one should respect other opinions. The students indicate their position (agree/disagree) in the following ways:raising their hands standing or sitting down in front of a certain opinionhold up green (agree) and red (disagree) cards
The teacher can also choose to let the pupils express a more nuanced opinion. For example, by using the didactic work form “The Line”.  Draw a line on the ground or place a rope on the ground. Students who are in full agreement with a statement stand at one end of the line. Pupils who do not agree at all stand at the other end. Doubters can position themselves on this line according to their level of agreement. 
What the tutor is doing1. As a teacher, first watch the following fragments in preparation
The ethical dilemma of self-driving cars – Patrick Lin’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixIoDYVfKA0Self-driving car dilemmas reveal that moral choices are not universal.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPo6bby-Fcg&t=42s

The Trolley Problem Explainedhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwJ__zAyjSc

‘The trolley problem’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOpf6KcWYyw

2 Show the next fragment to the students as an introduction. ‘The ethical dilemma of self-driving cars – Patrick Lin’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixIoDYVfKA0
There’s no need to start a discussion in this fase. There will be plenty of time to discuss later on. 
3. Then show them the next fragment. ‘The trolley problem’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOpf6KcWYyw
4. Present the dilemma to the pupils.A train cannot brake any more. Five people are standing on one track. One person is standing on the other. You are operating the points on the tracks. The person(s) on the track will die after the collision. What do you do? Do you let the train run over the track with the one person or over the track with the five people?“
5. Ask the following questions one by one. Let the students express their opinion by using one of the proposed methods. After each question, pick one or two students and ask them to argue their point.
Question 1The tram driver should choose the track with the one person. In this way, five lives can be saved. 
Question 2Even if the one person is a child, the tram driver should choose this track. 
Question 3The one person is a small child and you are with four other persons on the other track then the tram driver should choose you. 
Question 4You are the tram driver, the person on one track is your sweetheart, the persons on the other track are all members of your family. 


Question 5Pushing one person of the bridge to save everyone else would be a good solution.
Question 6Pushing one totally stranger of the bridge to save your sweetheart and the five members of your family would be a good solution.
Differentiation- Depending on the discussion, you can add your own questions based on the arguments or reservations of the students. (e.g. 1 pregnant woman and 5 disabled children; you and 5 of your friends,…)Cchttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Trolley_Problem.svg
What the learners are doingThe pupils give their opinion after each question, using one of the methods mentioned above. How they do that, depends on the method chosen by the teacher. 
Equipment and SupportDepending on the method chosen:something to draw a line on the grounda ropea pair of cards (red and green) for each pupil
Link to AI@School CurriculumThe Ethics of AI – To raise awareness on the ethical issues concerning AI
Assessment of/for learningThe assessment here is done in terms of the ability to express and argue an opinion. There is no ready-made solution to this ethical question. 
Resources/links/relevant content/ExamplesThe ethical dilemma of self-driving cars – Patrick Lin’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixIoDYVfKA0
Video about moral decisions self driving cars. Self-driving car dilemmas reveal that moral choices are not universal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPo6bby-Fcg&t=42s
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem
The Trolley Problem Explainedhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwJ__zAyjSc
‘The trolley problem’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOpf6KcWYyw

Our notes from practice

Case study and comments from other educators  (code.org).  Including how to teach the topic offline.

Toolkit

Title ‘The EU Approach to Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence:

A continuous journey towards an appropriate governance framework for AI’  

Author  Nathalie A. Smuha

URL https://lirias.kuleuven.be/retrieve/545936 

Title ‘The European Commission’s high-level expert group on artificial intelligence

Draft ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI: Working Document for stakeholders’ consultation 

(Dec 2018)

URL https://www.euractiv.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/12/AIHLEGDraftAIEthicsGuidelinespdf.pdf

Curriculum Constructs

DigiCompEdu

Area 6: Facilitating Learners’ Digital Competence

6.1 Information and media literacy: To incorporate learning activities, assignments and assessments which require learners to articulate information needs; to find information and resources in digital environments; to organise, process, analyse and interpret information; and to compare and critically evaluate the credibility and reliability of information and its sources.

Explorer (A2): Encouraging learners to use digital technologies for informational retrieval.

6.4 Responsible use: To take measures to ensure learners’ physical, psychological and social wellbeing while using digital technologies. To empower learners to manage risks and use digital technologies safely and responsibly.

Explorer (A2): Encouraging learners to use digital technologies safely and responsibly.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Understand – To comprehend information and grasp its meaning

Gives the student a chance to show a fundamental understanding of the story or tekst (add, clarify, compare, contrast, explain, give, infer, observe, predict, summarize, translate,…)

Analyze – To make connections; recognize patterns and deeper meanings

students can deconstruct the story into its component parts to better understand it (break down, characterize, classify, contrast, distinguish, explore, identify, investigate, order, prioritize,…)

Evaluate – To make and justify a judgement

Gives students an opportunity to develop an opinion and back it up with reasoning and evidence (appraise, assess, critique, defend, determine, estimate, explain, grade, justify, rank, rate,…).

AI@School Curriculum Area

The Ethics of AI – To raise awareness on the ethical issues concerning AI


Credits

Authors; Attwell. G., Bekiaridis. G., Blatsios, S., De Smet, G., Gerrard, A., Orcasitas-Vicandi, M., Rennie, I., Roman, G., Sapountzi, M., Schevernels, M. 

AI@School is a project co-funded by the European Commission via Erasmus+

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