Moral distance, AI, and the ethics of care


Appeared In: AI & Society

Publication Date: March 23, 2023

Within decision-making research, the concept of moral distance is used to explain why individuals behave unethically towards those who are not seen. Moral distance abstracts those who are impacted by the decision and leads to less ethical decisions. The goal of this paper is to identify and analyze the moral distance created by AI through both proximity distance (in space, time, and culture) and bureaucratic distance (derived from hierarchy, complex processes, and principlism). The authors then propose the ethics of care as a moral framework to analyze the moral implications of AI. The ethics of care brings to the forefront circumstances and context, interdependence, and vulnerability in analyzing algorithmic decision-making.

Villegas-Galaviz, C. & Martin, K. (2023). Moral Distance, AI, and the Ethics of Care. AI & Society. DOI: 10.1007/s00146-023-01642-z

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