Moral Machine or Tyranny of the Majority?

by   Michael Feffer, et al.

With Artificial Intelligence systems increasingly applied in consequential domains, researchers have begun to ask how these systems ought to act in ethically charged situations where even humans lack consensus. In the Moral Machine project, researchers crowdsourced answers to "Trolley Problems" concerning autonomous vehicles. Subsequently, Noothigattu et al. (2018) proposed inferring linear functions that approximate each individual's preferences and aggregating these linear models by averaging parameters across the population. In this paper, we examine this averaging mechanism, focusing on fairness concerns in the presence of strategic effects. We investigate a simple setting where the population consists of two groups, with the minority constituting an α < 0.5 share of the population. To simplify the analysis, we consider the extreme case in which within-group preferences are homogeneous. Focusing on the fraction of contested cases where the minority group prevails, we make the following observations: (a) even when all parties report their preferences truthfully, the fraction of disputes where the minority prevails is less than proportionate in α; (b) the degree of sub-proportionality grows more severe as the level of disagreement between the groups increases; (c) when parties report preferences strategically, pure strategy equilibria do not always exist; and (d) whenever a pure strategy equilibrium exists, the majority group prevails 100 findings raise concerns about stability and fairness of preference vector averaging as a mechanism for aggregating diverging voices. Finally, we discuss alternatives, including randomized dictatorship and median-based mechanisms.


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4


On Democratic Fairness for Groups of Agents

We study the problem of allocating indivisible goods to groups of intere...

On Fairness and Stability in Two-Sided Matchings

There are growing concerns that algorithms, which increasingly make or i...

Round-Robin Beyond Additive Agents: Existence and Fairness of Approximate Equilibria

Fair allocation of indivisible goods has attracted extensive attention o...

Fairness Preferences, Actual and Hypothetical: A Study of Crowdworker Incentives

How should we decide which fairness criteria or definitions to adopt in ...

Strategyproof Mechanisms For Group-Fair Facility Location Problems

Ensuring group fairness among groups of individuals in our society is de...

Evolution of collective fairness in complex networks through degree-based role assignment

From social contracts to climate agreements, individuals engage in group...

Quadratic Metric Elicitation with Application to Fairness

Metric elicitation is a recent framework for eliciting performance metri...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset