Needs and Artificial Intelligence

Soheil Human, Ryan Watkins

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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Throughout their history, Homo sapiens have used technologies to better satisfy their needs. The relation between needs and technology is so fundamental that the US National Research Council defined the distinguishing characteristic of technology as its goal “to make modifications in the world to meet human needs”. Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most promising emerging technologies of our time. Similar to other technologies, AI is expected “to meet [human] needs”. In this article, we reflect on the relationship between needs and AI and call for the realization of needs-aware AI systems. We argue that re-thinking needs for, through, and by AI can be a very useful means towards the development of realistic approaches for Sustainable Human-centric, Accountable, Lawful, and Ethical (HALE) AI systems. We discuss some of the most critical gaps, barriers, enablers, and drivers of co-creating future AI-based sociotechnical systems in which [human] needs are well considered and met. Finally, we provide an overview of potential threats and HALE considerations that should be carefully taken into account and call for joint, immediate, and interdisciplinary efforts and collaborations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVienna
PublisherWU Vienna University of Economics and Business
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

SeriesSustainable Computing Paper Series

WU Working Paper Series

  • Sustainable Computing Paper Series

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