Theories of Parenting and their Application to Artificial Intelligence

by   Sky Croeser, et al.

As machine learning (ML) systems have advanced, they have acquired more power over humans' lives, and questions about what values are embedded in them have become more complex and fraught. It is conceivable that in the coming decades, humans may succeed in creating artificial general intelligence (AGI) that thinks and acts with an open-endedness and autonomy comparable to that of humans. The implications would be profound for our species; they are now widely debated not just in science fiction and speculative research agendas but increasingly in serious technical and policy conversations. Much work is underway to try to weave ethics into advancing ML research. We think it useful to add the lens of parenting to these efforts, and specifically radical, queer theories of parenting that consciously set out to nurture agents whose experiences, objectives and understanding of the world will necessarily be very different from their parents'. We propose a spectrum of principles which might underpin such an effort; some are relevant to current ML research, while others will become more important if AGI becomes more likely. These principles may encourage new thinking about the development, design, training, and release into the world of increasingly autonomous agents.


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