AI Assisted Ethics

10 Pages Posted: 21 May 2016 Last revised: 1 Jun 2016

See all articles by Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Oren Etzioni

Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Date Written: May 18, 2016


How are we to ensure that autonomous machines act ethically? Teaching machines ethics, or getting them to follow whatever the community favors, may not work. Instead, one can use AI to find out what the ethical preferences of its human users are, in a way similar to how we learn about consumer preferences. Then, use these revealed preferences to guide the AI-equipped ("smart") machines. One very simple such ethics bot is already operating.

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai and Etzioni, Oren, AI Assisted Ethics (May 18, 2016). Ethics and Information Technology, Vol. 18.2 (pp. 149-156) 2016, Available at SSRN:

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2023 G St. NW
Room 342
Washington, DC 20052
United States


Oren Etzioni

Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence ( email )

615 Westlake Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
United States

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