Sample Project: Moral Machine

The Moral Machine experiment was a crowdsourced online survey aimed at understanding how people prioritize different ethical dilemmas involving autonomous vehicles.

Adoption of self-driving, Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) promises to dramatically reduce the number of traffic accidents. But some inevitable accidents will require AVs to make tradeoffs about potential risk, such as risk to pedestrians on the road versus risk to the passenger in the car. Even if these "moral dilemmas" are rare, defining algorithms to make such decisions is a challenge, since people may be uncomfortable with the idea of Artificial Intelligence making life-and-death decisions without human oversight. Experimental ethics can help manufacturers and regulators understand the psychological challenges that may undermine trust in driverless cars, and our ability to exercise oversight over their behavior. This may be a necessary pre-condition to the wide adoption of autonomous transportation.

Interactive: Moral Machine web site


Scientific Writings

J.-F. Bonnefon, A. Shariff, I. Rahwan (2020). The moral psychology of AI and the ethical opt-out problem. In S. M. Liao (ed.) Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
[Free preprint, Full book by Oxford University Press]

E. Awad, S. Dsouza, R. Kim, J. Schulz, J. Henrich, A. Shariff, J.-F. Bonnefon, I. Rahwan (2020). Reply to: Life and death decisions of autonomous vehicles. Nature. 579, pagesE3–E5
[paper, free read-only version] [Selected media: Cosmo]

E. Awad, S. Dsouza, J.-F. Bonnefon, A. Shariff, I. Rahwan (2020). Crowdsourcing moral machines. Communications of the ACM, March 2020, Vol. 63 No. 3, Pages 48-55.

E. Awad, S. Dsouza, A. Shariff, I. Rahwan, J.-F. Bonnefon (2020). Universals and variations in moral decisions made in 42 countries by 70,000 participants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
[paper] [Selected media: Daily Mail, Vox, Der Spiegel]

E. Awad, S. Dsouza, R. Kim, J. Schulz, J. Henrich, A. Shariff, J.-F. Bonnefon, I. Rahwan (2018). The Moral Machine experiment. Nature. 562(7729)
[Free view-only version; data and code] [Video: Nature summary] [Story behind the paper] [Selected media: The New Yorker, Washington Post, The Economist, BBC, Nature News, Fast Company, Motherboard / Vice, Business Insider, The Guardian, Scientific American, WIRED, The Verge, Spiegel, Le Monde, Prospect, The Atlantic]

J. F. Bonnefon, A. Shariff, I. Rahwan, (2019). The trolley, the bull bar, and why engineers should care about the ethics of autonomous cars. Proceedings of the IEEE, 107, 502-504.

R. Kim, M. Kleiman-Weiner, A. Abeliuk, E. Awad, S. Dsouza, J. Tenenbaum, I. Rahwan (2018). A Computational Model of Commonsense Moral Decision Making. In Proc. AAAI / ACM Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Ethics and Society (AIES).

R. Noothigattu, S. S. Gaikwad, E. Awad, S. Dsouza, I. Rahwan, P. Ravikumar, A. D. Procaccia (2018). A Voting-Based System for Ethical Decision Making. Proc. 32nd AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (forthcoming)
[Free pre-print] [Selected Media: The Outline, France 24, IB Times, Bloomberg]

J. F. Bonnefon, A. Shariff, I. Rahwan (2016). The Social Dilemma of Autonomous Vehicles. Science. 352(6293):1573-1576.
[Free pre-print] [Selected Media: New York Times (1), New York Times (2), Washington Post (1), Wall Street Journal, Time, Independent (1), Guardian, CBS News, LA Times, Forbes, Newsweek, CBC (Canada), ABC (Australia),Le Monde (FR), El Pais (ES), Science, Scientific American, New Scientist, PBS NOVA Next, PBS, Wired, Huffington Post, MIT News,Independent (2), Washington Post (2), Washington Post (3), BBC World Service (live interview), Huffington Post (live interview), New York Magazine, Popular Science, MIT Technology Review, MIT Spectrum, The Atlantic]


Video: TED Talk
September 2017

Talk given by Iyad Rahwan more
Video: GESF Keynote
April 2018 GESF 2018

Iyad Rahwan speaks at the Opening Plenary of GESF 2018 on the ethics of autonomous vehicles. more
Video: DW Documentary about AI
September 2019
A documentary by Tilman Wolff und Ranga Yogeshwar more




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