Ethics and Artificial Intelligence Theme

Ethics and Artificial Intelligence Theme

This research theme explores the ethical implications both of advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning and of increasing human-computer interactions. This research theme cuts across several areas, and includes interdisciplinary work examining the nature of moral engagement in videogames, the workplace implications of increasing automatisation, the use of AI in medicine, and the ethical issues raised by artificial intelligences making autonomous moral judgments.

Current projects

Cybersecurity ethics training simulations for values-based decision-making, 2020-2022

CIs D. Richards, M. Ryan, P. Formosa, M. Hitchens. PIs V. Dignum

ARC Discovery Project. Funding: $375,000

Summary: This Project will investigate ways to train reflective ethical decision making in cybersecurity management through the design of interactive social simulations. The Project will advance understanding and management of human factors in cybersecurity breaches and the field of serious game design for cybersecurity training by using new techniques for building artificially intelligent virtual agents, drawing on interdisciplinary expertise in ethics, artificial intelligence and serious game design. Expected outcomes of the Project include a new framework and technologies for cybersecurity training. This should provide significant benefits through deeper understanding of the ethical impact of new cybertechnologies and training solutions.

Designing for moral engagement in videogames, 2018-2020

CI Malcolm Ryan, CI Paul Formosa, CI Stephanie Howarth, and PI Jane Messer

Macquarie Research Seeding Grant. Funding: $47,986

Summary: There is a growing interest in videogames for ethics education as they can provide a safe yet meaningful space for players to practice moral choice. A well-designed game can immerse a player in a world and challenge them with difficult moral choices, but poor design can negate this challenge by making in-game morality merely a strategic choice made to win, instead of for its own sake. To establish which design factors are most important in maintaining moral engagement, we will implement a variety of games based around a common set of moral narratives and test them with human subjects, recording their choices. The outcome will be a set of validated design principles for the creation of games for ethics education.

Conferring dignity in law and health care, 2019-2021

CIs L. Barclay, S. Killmister, C. Crock, P. Formosa. PIs J. Tasioulas & O. Sensen

ARC Discovery Project. Funding: $240,000

Summary: This project aims to develop a new and more inclusive philosophical conception of dignity. It expects to generate an innovative alternative to the view that dignity is inherent, which is exclusionary: not all human beings possess the relevant inherent traits. A conception of dignity as something conferred will be developed, and the case made that such dignity can and should be conferred on all human beings. The expected outcome is a new understanding of the importance of dignity in human rights law and in health care services. The intended benefits are better appreciation of the role of dignity in human rights, and concrete guidance for health and aged care services on how they can promote the dignity of all of their clients.

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