AI and Ethics: Moving towards a future where AI benefits - rather than destroys - humanity

Adam James Fenton, Dagmar Monnett

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2023 may be remembered as the year that Artificial Intelligence (AI) hit the headlines for its potential to transform economy, society, and humanity. With the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the wider public experienced first-hand what is itlike to interact with an AI that shows remarkably human-like responses in one-to-one conversations. This is clearly a technology with the potential for profound (both negative and positive) impacts on all aspects of human activity from business to politics, justice, education, arts, science, medicine, and virtually any other field of human endeavour. The challenges, as many academics, practitioners, observers, and some legislatures have realised, are in the capabilities of the underlying technology and in regulating AI and ensuring that its deployment and use are ethical, responsible, and trustworthy; that it is used for good rather than evil, to benefit humanity rather than destroy or damage it. However, given both the complexity of the technology itself and the competing vested interests of the many interested parties involved, this is a task which is much easier said than done. Indeed, some commentators have noted that the cursory nature with which ethics has been approached by some actors in the AI regulation debate has been nothing more than “ethics washing” (Metzinger, 2019a, 2019b; van Maanen, 2022)or even “ethics theater” (Cath & Jansen, 2021). Simply articulating what is meant by “ethical AI” is a task freighted with intercultural challenges, as onemay ask “whose ethics are we referring to?” Ethical systems vary through history and across cultures, making it difficult, if not impossible, to articulate a “universal” form of AI ethics. This paper examines the meta-ethical challenges of AI and its regulation, and offers novel recommendations to improve discussions and outcomes around the ethics and regulation of contemporary AI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-242
Number of pages19
JournalJurnal Signal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2024


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101029232


  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • AI ethics
  • AI regulation
  • intercultural communication and AI;
  • explainable AI
  • technology
  • cybersecurity


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