Moral Labyrinth

Would you trust a robot that was trained on your behaviors?

Do you know what motivates your choices?

What does it mean to be moral?

 
1809ip10003-Edit_1750.jpg
 

ABOUT

Moral Labyrinth is an art installation, workshop, and website inspired by the Value Alignment Problem in AI, and considers the complexity of conflicting values, and reflects on the difficulty of embedding such values into technological systems.

The art installation, created by artist and researcher Sarah Newman in 2018, has been adapted into five different versions, and has exhibited in Berlin, Linz, London, Boston, and Miami in 2018-19. The Moral Labyrinth workshop, led by Newman, Mindy Seu, and Jie Qi, premiered at RightsCon 2019 in Tunis.

This website invites anyone in the world to contribute a question (in any language!), for possible integration into a future physical or digital labyrinth. The site also shares installation shots from previous exhibitions and makes two versions of the Tunis labyrinth available for download.

 
 

PROJECT

As machines get smarter and more complex, we need to program them with certain “values.” Yet we do not agree on what we value: across cultures, across individuals, even within ourselves. We often do not act in accordance with what we say we value, so should these systems learn from what we say or what we do? What are the implications of how our current belief systems manifest in the swiftly approaching technological future? As we anticipate such change, can we use this technological moment to become more honest, humble, and compassionate?

Moral Labyrinth is an art installation that takes shape as a physical walking labyrinth, comprised of philosophical questions, that deal, either directly or obliquely, with our complex relationships to technology, and more specifically with the machines that we build to serve us. The inspiration for the work draws from moral philosophy and AI ethics. What can we learn about ourselves by how we engage and interact with new technologies? What questions will arise for us after walking the labyrinth? The work is a meditation on perennial—and now particularly pressing—aspects of being human.

 

Print the group moral labyrinth produced at RightsCon Tunis 2019

Download the single page labyrinth (left) or the tiled mural version (right). The mural includes 35 A4 pages that combine into a large labyrinth, must be trimmed and taped.

 
Download the flyer     (A4 sheet)
Download the mural     (35 tiles of A4 sheets)

Download the mural (35 tiles of A4 sheets)

 
 

WORKSHOP

Workshop description, RightsCon Tunis, 2019:

This workshop, led by artists and designers from Harvard University and the University of Tokyo, brought together participants to think through difficult questions about human relationships to technology, and create a visual work that each participant was able to take home. The project and workshop are inspired by the Value Alignment Problem: the challenge of assuring that the goals embedded in intelligent systems (or the secondary goals they subsequently form) are aligned with the values of the society they serve.

The session included: a discussion of morality across cultures, creative exercises geared toward generating diverse questions, and compiling the participant-generated questions into "moral labyrinth." The labyrinth includes as many voices as there are workshop participants, in as many languages as possible. The session will conclude with participant-generated labyrinths, and each participant will get to take one home. The workshop encourages collaborative reflection on value alignment in the 21st century -- emphasizing the necessity of asking questions as we co-create and steer toward our shared technological future.

 
1812IP07_.jpg
Workshop participants: Palesa Tlhapi, Katerina Hadzi-Miceva Evans, Zach, khouloud talhaoui, Venessa Paech, Reem A. Mousa, Vanessa Ko, Arthur Gwagwa, Bilal Ghalib, Daniel Kelley, Helene v. Schwichow, Katrin Fritsch, Ben Bland, Jasser Hammami, JFQueralt, Nick Inzucchi, Madeleine Forster, Ayoub Sufyan, Ayoub Sufyan, Juliana Castro, Paola Ricaurte (not in sequence)

Workshop participants: Palesa Tlhapi, Katerina Hadzi-Miceva Evans, Zach, khouloud talhaoui, Venessa Paech, Reem A. Mousa, Vanessa Ko, Arthur Gwagwa, Bilal Ghalib, Daniel Kelley, Helene v. Schwichow, Katrin Fritsch, Ben Bland, Jasser Hammami, JFQueralt, Nick Inzucchi, Madeleine Forster, Ayoub Sufyan, Ayoub Sufyan, Juliana Castro, Paola Ricaurte (not in sequence)