In part 1 of the series on integrating the Golden Rule into the AI Utility Function, we reviewed the Golden Rule and brainstormed the key Golden Rule principles that one would want to encode into the AI Utility Function. We then reviewed a simple process that any Citizen of Data Science could leverage to ensure that AI models are leveraging the Golden Rule to deliver meaningful, relevant, responsible, and ethical outcomes.
In part 2, we want to explore some metrics that one should consider when designing the AI Utility Function from a mindset of the Golden Rule. But first, a lesson in economics.
Relevant Economic Concepts to Achieving an Ethical AI Utility Function
There are many economic concepts that be useful in providing guidelines as we seek to encode the Golden Rule into the AI utility function. Some of these economic concepts include:
- Game Theory: a branch of economics that studies how individuals interact in situations where the outcome depends on the actions of others. Game theory can be used to model social interactions and identify strategies that lead to mutually beneficial societal outcomes. Game theory could be used to identify behaviors, and their associated metrics, that promote cooperation and trust while discouraging behaviors that lead to unethical actions.
- Social Welfare Function: a concept used in welfare economics and social choice theory to evaluate and compare different social states or allocations of resources. It attempts to aggregate individual preferences or well-being into a collective measure that represents the overall welfare or social utility of society. Social welfare metrics can be integrated into the AI Utility Function to measure the well-being of humans affected by the AI system and to prioritize metrics that maximize overall well-being.
- Behavioral Economics: a branch of economics that studies how psychological, social, and cognitive factors influence decision-making. Behavioral economics can be used to understand how humans perceive and respond to incentives and to design incentives that promote desirable behaviors and discourage undesirable behaviors (as has been seen in deterring smoking and encouraging 401-K retirement sign-ups). Behavioral economics could be used to design incentives, and their associated metrics, that encourage the AI system to behave in alignment with the Golden Rule, such as by rewarding decision and action transparency.
- Theory of Economic Justice: a branch of philosophy that seeks to examine and establish principles for distributing economic benefits in a fair and just manner within a society. Metrics associated with inequality, poverty, and economic opportunity could be integrated into the AI Utility Function.
These economic concepts can be useful frameworks for identifying variables and metrics that we want to integrate into the AI Utility Function that reflect the intentions of the Golden Rule.
Key Golden Rule Measures
Now, let’s get to work. If we want to be true to the Golden Rule and create a healthy AI Utility Function that delivers meaningful, relevant, responsible, and ethical outcomes, here are some metrics one should consider integrating into the AI Utility Function:
1) Respect and promote human rights.
- Number of human rights violations: This metric measures the number of incidents in which human rights are violated. This could include things like torture, arbitrary detention, and discrimination.
- Percentage of people who feel their rights are respected: This metric measures how many people feel that their rights are respected. This could be done through surveys, interviews, or social media analysis.
- Number of people who have access to justice: This metric measures how many people have access to legal recourse when their rights are violated. This could include things like the number of courts and lawyers.
- Level of corruption: This metric measures the level of corruption in a country. Corruption can lead to human rights violations, so this is an important metric to monitor.
2) Promote societal fairness and equality.
- Gender equality: This metric measures the level of equality between men and women. This could include things like the gender pay gap, the number of women in leadership positions, and the number of women who are victims of violence.
- Racial equality: This metric measures the level of equality between different racial groups. This could include things like the unemployment rate for different races, the number of people of color who are victims of police brutality, and the number of people of color who are denied access to housing or education.
- Economic equality: This metric measures the level of inequality between different economic classes. This could include things like the Gini coefficient, the number of people living in poverty, and the number of people who are homeless.
- Social equality: This metric measures the level of equality between different social groups. This could include things like the number of people who are discriminated against based on their religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
3) Protect and preserve our environment.
- Carbon emissions: This metric measures the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere. This is a major cause of climate change, so it is important to monitor this metric.
- Water pollution: This metric measures the amount of pollution that is released into waterways. This can harm aquatic life and make water unsafe for drinking or swimming.
- Air pollution: This metric measures the amount of pollution that is released into the air. This can harm human health and make it difficult to breathe.
- Waste production: This metric measures the amount of waste that is generated. This can harm the environment if it is not properly disposed of.
- Deforestation: This metric measures the amount of deforestation that is occurring. This can harm the environment by destroying habitats and increasing the risk of flooding and landslides.
- Species extinction: This metric measures the number of species that are going extinct. This is a major indicator of the health of the environment.
4) Promote peace and security.
- Number of armed conflicts: This metric measures the number of armed conflicts that are occurring around the world. This is an important indicator of the level of violence in the world.
- Number of deaths from armed conflict: This metric measures the number of people who die as a result of armed conflict. This is a tragic measure of the human cost of war.
- Number of displaced people: This metric measures the number of people who have been forced to flee their homes due to armed conflict. This is a major humanitarian crisis.
- Level of economic development: This metric measures the economic development of a country. A high level of economic development can help to reduce the risk of armed conflict.
- Level of education: This metric measures the level of education of a population. A high level of education can help to promote peace and understanding.
- Level of gender equality: This metric measures the level of gender equality in a country. A high level of gender equality can help to reduce the risk of armed conflict.
- Level of corruption: This metric measures the level of corruption in a country. A high level of corruption can lead to instability and violence.
5) Promote the well-being of all living entities.
- Animal welfare: This metric measures the quality of life of animals. This could include things like the amount of space they have to live in, the quality of their food, and the amount of exercise they get.
- Environmental sustainability: This metric measures the impact that humans are having on the environment. This could include things like the amount of pollution we produce, the amount of deforestation we cause, and the amount of climate change we are causing.
- Human rights: This metric measures the level of respect for human rights around the world. This could include things like the number of people who are imprisoned without trial, the number of people who are tortured, and the number of people who are killed by their governments.
- Economic equality: This metric measures the gap between the rich and the poor. This could include things like the Gini coefficient, the number of people living in poverty, and the number of people who are homeless.
- Social cohesion: This metric measures the level of trust and cooperation between people in a society. This could include things like the number of people who volunteer, the number of people who donate to charity, and the number of people who help out their neighbors.
Important note: no single metric can provide a completely accurate reading of a situation. Life is complex and multifaceted, requiring a broader perspective. Rather than relying on a single metric, it is essential to consider a combination of these metrics along with their respective weights. By doing so, we can obtain a more comprehensive and cohesive overview of how effectively the principles of the Golden Rule are being implemented.
This is a useful list of variables and metrics that can be included in the AI Utility Function. I’m certain that by brainstorming with a diverse group of stakeholders, we would identify even more variables and metrics that align with the intentions of the Golden Rule.
Summary: The Golden Rule and the AI Utility Function – Part II
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The Golden Rule is a moral principle that states that you should treat others as you would like others to treat you. As we seek to design, develop, deploy, and manage AI systems that deliver meaningful, relevant, responsible, and ethical outcomes, integrating the intentions of the Golden Rule into the AI Utility Function isn’t just a nice option, it’s mandatory!
And as a final note, the Golden Rule isn’t just a Christian belief. Constructs like the Golden Rule are found in almost every religion, including (thanks ChatGPT):
- Christianity: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
- Islam: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” (Hadith of Prophet Muhammad, 40 Hadith of an-Nawawi)
- Judaism: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.” (Talmud, Shabbat 31a)
- Hinduism: “This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.” (Mahabharata 5:1517)
- Buddhism: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” (Udanavarga 5.18)
- Sikhism: “As you deem yourself, so deem others.” (Guru Granth Sahib, pg. 143)
- Jainism: “A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.” (Sutrakritanga 1.11.33)
- Bahá’í Faith: “Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself.” (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah)
I strongly believe that it is important to come back to our religious roots as we strive to use AI for the greater good. Following the Golden Rule is a good first step towards achieving that goal.