Artificial Intelligence

The Moral Machine Experiment: 40 Million Decisions and the Path to Universal Machine Ethics

Thursday, August 23, 2018, 11:00am - 12:00pm PDTiCal
6th floor large conference room
AI Seminar
Edmond Awad, MIT
No video recording, live-stream only.
I describe the Moral Machine, an internet-based serious game exploring the many-dimensional ethical dilemmas faced by autonomous vehicles. The game enabled us to gather 40 million decisions from 3 million people in 200 countries/territories. I report the various preferences estimated from this data, and document interpersonal differences in the strength of these preferences. I also report cross-cultural ethical variation and uncover major clusters of countries exhibiting substantial differences along key moral preferences. These differences correlate with modern institutions, but also with deep cultural traits. I discuss how these three layers of preferences can help progress toward global, harmonious, and socially acceptable principles for machine ethics.


Bio: Edmond Awad is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Scalable Cooperation group led by Iyad Rahwan at MIT Media Lab  Born and raised in Syria, Edmond received his bachelor degree (2007) from Tishreen University (Syria) in Informatics Engineering. In 2009, he moved to UAE where at Masdar Institute, he completed a master’s degree (2011) in Computing and Information Science with a research topic in Multi-agent Systems, before completing a PhD (2015) in Argumentation and Multi-agent systems. In 2015, Edmond joined the Scalable Cooperation group at MIT Media Lab as a graduate student and a research assistant. During his second master’s degree, Edmond co-developed Moral Machine  a website that gather human decisions on moral dilemmas faced by driverless cars. The website has been visited by over 3 million users, who contributed their judgements on 40 million dilemmas. Edmond’s work has been covered in major media outlets like The Times, LA Times, Der Spiegel (DE), and El Pais (ES). Edmond’s research interest are in the areas of AI, Ethics, Computational Social Science and Multi-agent Systems.
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