Relational Artificial Intelligence

Paper by Virginia Dignum: “The impact of Artificial Intelligence does not depend only on fundamental research and technological developments, but for a large part on how these systems are introduced into society and used in everyday situations. Even though AI is traditionally associated with rational decision-making, understanding and shaping the societal impact of AI in all its facets requires a relational perspective. A rational approach to AI, where computational algorithms drive decision-making independent of human intervention, insights and emotions, has shown to result in bias and exclusion, laying bare societal vulnerabilities and insecurities. A relational approach, that focus on the relational nature of things, is needed to deal with the ethical, legal, societal, cultural, and environmental implications of AI. A relational approach to AI recognises that objective and rational reasoning cannot does not always result in the ‘right’ way to proceed because what is ‘right’ depends on the dynamics of the situation in which the decision is taken, and that rather than solving ethical problems the focus of design and use of AI must be on asking the ethical question. In this position paper, I start with a general discussion of current conceptualisations of AI followed by an overview of existing approaches to governance and responsible development and use of AI. Then, I reflect over what should be the bases of a social paradigm for AI and how this should be embedded in relational, feminist and non-Western philosophies, in particular the Ubuntu philosophy….(More)”.