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Ethics of advanced AI assistants

Ethics of advanced AI assistants


Responsibility and safety

Published April 19, 2024 Author

Iason Gabriel and Ariana Mangini

Exploring the future possibilities and risks of better AI

Imagine a future where we regularly interact with a variety of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) assistants, and where millions of assistants interact with each other on our behalf. These experiences and interactions may soon become part of our daily reality.

Generic foundational models are paving the way for increasingly sophisticated AI assistants. With the ability to plan and execute a wide range of actions in line with people's objectives, they function as creative partners, research analysts, educational instructors, life planners, etc., adding immense value to people's lives and society. can bring.

It also has the potential to usher in a new phase in human-AI interaction. This is why it is so important to actively think about what the world will become and to guide responsible decision-making and beneficial outcomes in advance.

Our new paper is the first to systematically address the ethical and social questions that advanced AI assistants pose for users, developers, and the societies in which they are integrated, and the Provide important new insights into potential impacts.

Topics include value alignment, safety and misuse, economic, environmental, and information domains, and impacts on access and opportunity.

This is one of the largest ethical foresight projects to date. We brought together a wide range of experts to explore and map the new technological and moral landscape of a future in which AI assistants become pervasive, and characterize the opportunities and risks that society may face. Here we outline some of the key points.

Have a major impact on users and society

An illustration of the potential for AI assistants to impact research, education, creative tasks, and planning.

Advanced AI assistants have the potential to have a profound impact on users and society and become integrated into most aspects of people's lives. For example, you may be asked to book holidays, manage social time, or carry out other life tasks. If introduced at scale, AI assistants could impact the way people approach work, education, creative projects, hobbies, and social interactions.

Over time, AI assistants could also influence the goals and personal development paths people pursue through the information and advice they provide, and the actions they take. Ultimately, this raises important questions about how people interact with this technology and how it can best support their goals and aspirations.

human coordination is essential

Diagram showing how AI assistants need to be able to understand human preferences and values.

AI assistants are likely to have a significant level of autonomy to plan and execute a range of tasks across a variety of domains. This creates new challenges for AI assistants regarding safety, coordination, and misuse.

Increased autonomy increases the risk of accidents caused by unclear or misunderstood instructions, as well as the risk that the assistant will take actions that are inconsistent with the user's values ​​and interests.

Increased autonomy for AI assistants could also enable high-impact exploits, such as spreading misinformation or cyberattacks. To address these potential risks, we need to set limits on this technology and ensure that the values ​​of advanced AI assistants are better aligned with human values ​​and aligned with broader societal ideals and It insists that it must conform to the standards.

communicate in natural language

An illustration of an AI assistant and a human communicating in a human-like manner.

Because they can communicate fluidly using natural language, the text and voice output of advanced AI assistants can be difficult to distinguish from human output.

This development raises a complex set of questions regarding trust, privacy, anthropomorphism, and appropriate human relationships with AI. How can we ensure that users can reliably identify their AI assistants and control their interactions with them? How can we ensure that users are not unduly influenced or misled over time? What should I do?

To address these risks, privacy and other safeguards must be taken. Importantly, the relationship between AI assistants and people must maintain user autonomy, not rely on emotional or material dependence, and support the development of users' capabilities.

Collaborate and adjust to human preferences

Diagram showing how interactions between AI assistants and people create different network effects.

Once this technology becomes widely available and deployed at scale, advanced AI assistants will need to interact with both users and non-users alike. To avoid group behavior problems, these assistants must be able to work well together.

For example, thousands of assistants could try to book the same service for a user at the same time, potentially causing the system to crash. In an ideal scenario, these AI assistants would coordinate on behalf of human users and relevant service providers, finding common ground to better meet the preferences and needs of different people.

Given how useful this technology is, it's also important that no one is left out. AI assistants should be widely accessible and designed with a variety of user and non-user needs in mind.

Further evaluation and foresight required

We show how evaluation at different levels is important for understanding AI assistants.

AI assistants may perform unprecedented functions or use tools in new ways that are difficult to predict, making the risks associated with their deployment difficult to predict. Managing such risks requires foresight based on comprehensive testing and evaluation.

Our previous work on assessing social and ethical risks with generative AI identified some of the gaps in traditional model assessment methods, and we encourage further research in this area.

For example, a comprehensive assessment that addresses both the impact of human-computer interaction and the broader impact on society will assess how AI assistants interact with users, non-users, and society as part of a broader network. This could help researchers understand how These insights can inform better mitigation measures and responsible decision-making.

build the future we want

We may be facing a new era of technological and social transformation, inspired by the development of advanced AI assistants. The choices we make today as researchers, developers, policy makers, and the general public will determine how this technology is developed and deployed across society.

We hope our paper will serve as a springboard for further coordination and collaboration to collectively shape the kind of helpful AI assistants we want to see around the world.

Paper authors: Iason Gabriel, Arianna Manzini, Geoff Keeling, Lisa Anne Hendricks, Verena Rieser, Hasan Iqbal, Nenad Tomaev, Ira Ktena, Zachary Kenton, Mikel Rodriguez, Seliem El-Sayed, Sasha Brown, Canfer Akbulut, Andrew Trask, Edward Hughes , A. Stevie Bergman, Lenny Shelby, Najema Marchal, Connor Griffin, Juan Mateos Garcia, Laura Weidinger, Winnie Street, Benjamin Lang, Alex Ingerman, Alison Lentz, Reid Enger, Andrew Barakat, Viktoria Krakovna, John Oliver Shi, Zeb. Cruz-Nelson, Amanda McCroskelly, Vijay Bolina, Harry Roe, Murray Shanahan, Lise Alberts, Borja Barre, Sara de Haas, Yetunde Ibitoe, Alan Dafoe, Beth Goldberg, Subastian Clear, Alexander Reese, Sims Witherspoon, Will Hawkins, Maribeth Lau, Don Wallace, Mattiyah Franklin, Josh A. Goldstein, Joel Lehman, Michael Klenk, Shannon Valler, Courtney Biles, Meredith. – Ringel Morris, Helen King, Blaise Agera y Arcas, William Isaac, James Manica.




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