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Transformative AI Governance and AI-Empowered Ethical Enhancement Through Preemptive Simulations


Nadisha-Marie Aliman, Leon Kester


As the problem-solving ability of AI increased significantly during this decade, its scope of application has been extended to various areas including ethically relevant fields such as the development of autonomous systems. In this contribution, we evince why for the purpose of effective AI governance, humans have to quantitatively specify their ethical conceptions within a consequential framework. Thereby, the implementation of advanced AI systems not only forces society to provide machine-understandable ethical goal functions, but it also simultaneously facilitates a new transformative socio-technological feedback-loop with the potential for a dynamic ethical enhancement at the societal level. Furthermore, we exemplify why a common objection to consequentialism related to impossibility theorems does not represent an argument against the feasibility of such a consequential framework with ethical goal functions despite the soundness of these theorems. Finally, we elaborate on how AI (and broader science and technology) might equip humans with a novel particularly powerful preemptive tool within a socio-technological feedback-loop: the ability to get access to a simulated first-person experience of future states of the world and the estimation of the related – as we term it – artificially simulated future instant utility.

Nadisha-Marie Aliman, M.Sc., PhD candidate at Utrecht University Department of Information and Computing Sciences. For correspondence: Dr. Leon Kester, Senior Research Scientist on ethical intelligent systems, TNO Netherlands. The authors would like to thank Peter Eckersley for a discussion on ethical utility functions and impossibility theorems.


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