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Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Islamic Ethics: Towards Pluralist Ethical Benchmarking for AI

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submitted on 2024-01-15, 11:42 and posted on 2024-01-16, 12:04 authored by Ezieddin Elmahjub

This paper explores artificial intelligence (AI) ethics from an Islamic perspective at a critical time for AI ethical norm-setting. It advocates for a pluralist approach to ethical AI benchmarking. As rapid advancements in AI technologies pose challenges surrounding autonomy, privacy, fairness, and transparency, the prevailing ethical discourse has been predominantly Western or Eurocentric. To address this imbalance, this paper delves into the Islamic ethical traditions to develop a framework that contributes to the global debate on optimal norm setting for designing and using AI technologies.

The paper outlines Islamic parameters for ethical values and moral actions in the context of AI's ethical uncertainties. It emphasizes the significance of both textual and non-textual Islamic sources in addressing these uncertainties while placing a strong emphasis on the notion of "good" or "maṣlaḥa" as a normative guide for AI's ethical evaluation. Defining maṣlaḥa as an ethical state of affairs in harmony with divine will, the paper highlights the coexistence of two interpretations of maṣlaḥa: welfarist/utility-based and duty-based. Islamic jurisprudence allows for arguments supporting ethical choices that prioritize building the technical infrastructure for AI to maximize utility. Conversely, it also supports choices that reject consequential utility calculations as the sole measure of value in determining ethical responses to AI advancements.

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Published in: Philosophy & Technology
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English


Springer Nature

Publication Year

  • 2023

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • College of Law - QU

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