A Voting-Based System for Ethical Decision Making

Ritesh Noothigattu, Snehalkumar 'Neil' S. Gaikwad, Edmond Awad, Sohan Dsouza, Iyad Rahwan, Pradeep Ravikumar, Ariel D. Procaccia


We present a general approach to automating ethical decisions, drawing on machine learning and computational social choice. In a nutshell, we propose to learn a model of societal preferences, and, when faced with a specific ethical dilemma at runtime, efficiently aggregate those preferences to identify a desirable choice. We provide a concrete algorithm that instantiates our approach; some of its crucial steps are informed by a new theory of swap-dominance efficient voting rules. Finally, we implement and evaluate a system for ethical decision making in the autonomous vehicle domain, using preference data collected from 1.3 million people through the Moral Machine website.
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