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The Ethics of Deep Learning AI and the Epistemic Opacity Dilemma

Even the weak kind of artificial intelligence that often controls our on-line shopping recommendations presents ethical implications and challenges. Ethical problems with more traditional non-AI type algorithms and programs tend to be about what is put into those programs. Gender, racial, and cultural bias, for example. Due to the familiar concept of ‘garbage in garbage out’ – one gets from a traditional computer system the values and ideas that one ‘codes’, and thus encodes, into it. Stronger versions of AI present further challenges associated with their unpredictability and resistance to analysis. They are based upon complex black box algorithms that resist a full analysis of their functions and logic. The project of finding an ethical solution to this opacity is becoming increasingly urgent. In this post I describe some of the challenges and present an epistemic dilemma with an associated ethical dilemma. I then briefly suggest a possible solution which I feel deserves to be tested...


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