AI, Control and Unintended Consequences: The Need for Meta-Values

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


Due to their self-learning and evolutionary character, AI (Artificial Intelligence) systems are more prone to unintended consequences and more difficult to control than traditional sociotechnical systems. To deal with this, machine ethicists have proposed to build moral (reasoning) capacities into AI systems by designing artificial moral agents. I argue that this may well lead to more, rather than less, unintended consequences and may decrease, rather than increase, human control over such systems. Instead, I suggest, we should bring AI systems under meaningful human control by formulating a number of meta-values for their evolution. Amongst others, this requires responsible experimentation with AI systems, which may neither guarantee full control nor the prevention of all undesirable consequences, but nevertheless ensures that AI systems, and their evolution, do not get out of control.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Technology and Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationDialogues Across Disciplines and Geographies
EditorsAlbrecht Fritzsche, Andrés Santa-María
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-25233-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-25232-7
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePhilosophy of Engineering and Technology
ISSN (Print)1879-7202
ISSN (Electronic)1879-7210

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


Dive into the research topics of 'AI, Control and Unintended Consequences: The Need for Meta-Values'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this