Artificial Intelligence and the Constitution of Social Systems

Markus Ahlers (doctoral project, ongoing)

Currently science and industry are developing new technologies with artificial intelligence. With the development of this new technology, society is also meeting new ethical challenges. A good example for this are self-driving cars: The cars are very likely to reduce the accident rate in traffic, but they can’t avoid all accidents. Potentially, there will be situations in which the car can no longer prevent collision with people by braking, but can only decide with whom it will collide. This is obviously a highly moral decision.

In addition to this question of direct moral implementations of artificial intelligence, there is also the possibility of indirect moral implementations. Self-driving cars may change the basic constituion of the traffic system, raising the question to what extent these autonomous systems also affect the constitution of the traffic safety itself. In my research project, I not only pursue this question of self-driving cars, but generally analyze to what extent autonomous systems or technical systems with elements of artificial intelligence have a possible influence on the constitution of social systems and their norms. These relationships can lead to strong moral implications, which are not obvious at first glance.