A Voting-Based System for Ethical Decision Making


  • Ritesh Noothigattu Carnegie Mellon University
  • Snehalkumar Gaikwad Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Edmond Awad Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Sohan Dsouza Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Iyad Rahwan Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Pradeep Ravikumar Carnegie Mellon University
  • Ariel Procaccia Carnegie Mellon University




We present a general approach to automating ethical decisions, drawing on machine learning and computational social choice. In a nutshell, we propose to learn a model of societal preferences, and, when faced with a specific ethical dilemma at runtime, efficiently aggregate those preferences to identify a desirable choice. We provide a concrete algorithm that instantiates our approach; some of its crucial steps are informed by a new theory of swap-dominance efficient voting rules. Finally, we implement and evaluate a system for ethical decision making in the autonomous vehicle domain, using preference data collected from 1.3 million people through the Moral Machine website.




How to Cite

Noothigattu, R., Gaikwad, S., Awad, E., Dsouza, S., Rahwan, I., Ravikumar, P., & Procaccia, A. (2018). A Voting-Based System for Ethical Decision Making. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 32(1). https://doi.org/10.1609/aaai.v32i1.11512



AAAI Technical Track: Human-Computation and Crowd Sourcing