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Top 10 biggest ethical dilemmas in AI

August 4, 2022

Many questions around the development of artificial intelligence arise as these autonomous programs make more and more decisions in various fields. But can these decisions of the machines follow a particular ethics and which one? What are the 10 biggest ethical dilemmas presented by AI? 

What is an ethical dilemma?

An ethical dilemma is a difficult decision making situation that demands a compromise between two options that does not really align with the existing code of ethics or societal norms. 

Top ten ethical dilemmas in AI

Ethical dilemmas are numerous, but we will be analyzing the important ones and they are as follows:


The work force is structured in such a way that when you work you are paid your wages or salary depending on the system you are into. But with the introduction of AI, we have seen a drastic decline in the need for human labor as machines are programmed to do the work humans are supposed to do, and they make a joke of the term division of labor as they can take on the jobs of 10 persons and do it faster and more effectively. This will cause a big gap in the economy of the world as wealth will only circulated among the owners of tech companies thereby creating a high rate of wealth inequality and unemployment in the society

Mistakes of Artificial intelligence:

No matter how we see it, machines do not have a mind of their own as they have been programmed to work with specific instructions and guidelines. They can’t make an on-site decision as they are not thinking beings. This will affect their output as they tend to make lots of mistakes, and in some instances they can be manipulated as they don’t know right from wrong.


We need to ask ourselves this question, will their come a time when humans will go down the lower food chain and stop being the most intelligent species on earth? The singular reason why humans are on the top of that food chain is because of our intelligence and ingenuity. So, will there be a time when machines will have the same advantage of control and higher intelligence over us and we won’t be at the helm of affairs. All these questions are a cause for concern.

Robot rights:

A point has come when the rights of robots are to be discussed, everyday new milestones are achieved in trying to model robots to think and feel like humans just like animals are lesser humans. Irrespective of the fact that this has not recorded a significant success, but the rights of robots will sooner or later be a cause for concern. Could we consider that a system is suffering when it gives a negative output? At what point do we draw the line of what is to be considered as an abuse on a robot? All these are things humans need to deliberate on.

Privacy and Surveillance:

The use of artificial intelligence has limited people’s right to privacy as there are many spywares online that can be used to spy on people’s privacy without their consent. Governments make use of AI surveillance and facial recognitions to run their intelligence agency and this infringes on people’s privacy right

Misinformation/fake news:

Most misinformation and fake news are peddled online. There is an online term known as “deep fakes”, whereby human images are cloned to look and talk like that particular individual. This deep fake was only made possible with the use of artificial intelligence and this is causing more harm than good because individuals could be falsely accused. . The bizarre thing about this “deep fakes” is that it looks real, so it will take an expert to know that the images or videos were cloned. 

Racist robots/ AI bias:

Artificial intelligence is programmed by humans and humans have their religious, social and moral biases. This can be intentionally and unintentionally imbibed in the use of AI. AIs are programmed to do exactly what they are told, so they can be used as an instrument of hate speeches, racist commentaries, and ethnic marginalization if care is not taken.


In this period when countries are building nuclear weapons of mass destruction, how do we regulate what is out there. We need to invest more on cyber security and regulations that will regulate hackers, and use of weapons of mass destruction so as to save and preserve mankind. This is because the fight is against systems that are proving to be smarter, and more capable than us by orders of magnitude.


As we enjoy the advantages that come with AI. Let’s not forget one of the major disadvantages which is creation of unemployment. As we invent ways to automate jobs, we should also invent ways to create more jobs for humans so that the economy will be balanced. Imagine what will happen when robots take over the whole workforce, what will then be the faith of humans? 

Environmental impact:

The carbons that computers emit are 17 times higher than what an average human being emits in a year. In this era of creating awareness of climate change, we need to reconsider our choices. Irrespective of the fact that AI has been very effective in solving human problems, we need to set our priorities right in that aspect.

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