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Why We Forgive Humans More Readily Than Machines


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Bearded man yells at laptop in frustration and anger.

Machines are judged more harshly in accidental scenarios; people take a consequentialist approach to judging machines, wherein intent is irrelevant, but not to humans.

Credit: Getty Images

The moral outrage against artificial intelligence (AI) often is justified. AI has been involved in wrongful arrests, biased recidivism scores, and multiple scandals involving misclassified photos or gender-stereotypical translations. AI researchers are well aware of these problems and are actively working to fix them.

But as the dust settles, it is worth asking not only whether AI is "good" or "bad," but what these judgment episodes teach us about our moral intuitions. After all, AI ethics is about us—humans—since we are the ones who are doing the judging.

From Scientific American
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