Broadening AI Ethics Narratives: An Indic Arts View


Divakaran, A., Sridhar, A., & Srinivasan, R. (2022). Broadening AI Ethics Narratives: An Indic Art View. arXiv preprint arXiv:2204.03789.


Incorporating interdisciplinary perspectives is seen as an essential step towards enhancing artificial intelligence (AI) ethics. In this regard, the field of arts is perceived to play a key role in elucidating diverse historical and cultural narratives, serving as a bridge across research communities. Most of the works that examine the interplay between the field of arts and AI ethics concern digital artworks, largely exploring the potential of computational tools in being able to surface biases in AI systems. In this paper, we investigate a complementary direction–that of uncovering the unique socio-cultural perspectives embedded in human-made art, which in turn, can be valuable in expanding the horizon of AI ethics. Through qualitative interviews of sixteen artists, art scholars, and researchers of diverse Indian art forms like music, sculpture, painting, floor drawings, dance, etc., we explore how {\it non-Western} ethical abstractions, methods of learning, and participatory practices observed in Indian arts, one of the most ancient yet perpetual and influential art traditions, can inform the FAccT community. Insights from our study suggest (1) the need for incorporating holistic perspectives (that are informed both by data-driven observations and prior beliefs encapsulating the structural models of the world) in designing ethical AI algorithms, (2) the need for integrating multimodal data formats for design, development, and evaluation of ethical AI systems, (3) the need for viewing AI ethics as a dynamic, cumulative, shared process rather than as a self contained framework to facilitate adaptability without annihilation of values, (4) the need for consistent life-long learning to enhance AI accountability, and (5) the need for identifying ethical commonalities across cultures and infusing the same into AI system design, so as to enhance applicability across geographies.

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