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The Case Against A.I. Controlling Our Moral Compass

Brian Gallagher: A 2018 Cognition study found that people regard moral decisions made by machines to be less acceptable than ones made by humans, even when the decisions have positive outcomes. The research came out of the Mind Perception and Morality Lab, directed by psychologist Kurt Gray, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In one way the study, led by postdoctoral fellow Yochanan Bigman, is surprising since we readily and happily allow algorithms to control decision-making in other areas — like risk-management, supply-chain distribution, flight-path determination, complex-inventory management, and road-driving navigation. “The success of machine decision-making across these domains may lead people to happily cede moral decisions to them as well,” Bigman and Gray wrote. “But there are reasons to believe otherwise.”

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