It is predicted that Carnegie Mellon University will announce that they are creating a research center dedicated to the ethics of artificial intelligence today. As a result to a growing international concern about artificial intelligence ethics, the ethics center, called  the K&L Gates Endowment for Ethics and Computational Technologies was established.

Due to people realising that artificial intelligence is no longer just a matter of science fiction, but something that is very real, and that is already impacting our lives, a range of academic, governmental and private efforts have been put in place in order to understand the technology better, New York Times reports.

An essential step to understanding it and accepting it, is therefore by learning about its ethics. The development of artificial intelligence has given us faster working computers and large collections of data that has benefited researchers by improving in their tasks that essentially was computerised, such as machine vision and speech recognition, as well as robotics.

In terms of the development of artificial intelligence over this year, the White House issued a report listing its potential consequences, whereas the five large technology firms, Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft came together to devleop a partnership dedicated to establish ethical guidelines for how AI should be designed and implemented.

Carnegie Mellon’s President, Subra Suresh saw it as essential to introduce ethical discussions into the AI-sphere as the technology advanced, saying: “We are at a unique point in time where the technology is far ahead of society’s ability to restrain it”.

Mr. Suresh also expressed his concern about certain people being too optimistic about their claims of A.I. advances, particularly in terms of autonomous vehicles, and he doubts that self-driving cars will be used on a large scale within the next three years.

Working with artificial intelligence is not new to Carnegie Mellon University, and last year they received a lot of attention after 36 staff members and four faculty members left to join Uber’s car laboratory established in Pittsburgh.

“The Uber laboratory has been a sensitive spot for Carnegie Mellon. The field of artificial intelligence emerged in part at Carnegie Mellon in the 1950s in the work of faculty who developed software that showed how computer algorithms could intelligently solve problems”, NY Times writes.

Between 2011 – 2015, Carnegie Mellon Faculty and staff worked together to create 164 start-up companies. The new research center is granted a $10 million gift from the international law firm K&L Gates, and will eventually create two faculty and three positions for graduate students.

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