A new scale defining human involvement in technology communities from an ethical standpoint
In the paper ‘Human Where? A New Scale Defining Human Involvement in Technology Communities from an Ethical Standpoint’, Marc Anderson and Fort Karën explored the terms ‘Human-in-the-loop, Human-on-the-loop, Human-out-of-the-loop, and Human-in-command’ as they are used in AI development, and discovered that they represent ‘a variety of sometimes confused conceptions of the human relation to automated systems’.
In specific, the AI-PROFICIENT team analyses that the addition of several news terms has actually made these terms unclear and the attempt at generalizing them as oversight is not practical, and in fact misses serious ethical issues. Most importantly, there is a logical contradiction inherent in the original intent behind the terms which works against efforts to develop an appropriate ethics.
In addition, Anderson, and Karën suggest that Bruno Latour’s ‘forgotten ethical intermediaries’ are folded into today’s technologies, having ‘their analogue in the view of the human as a component of automated systems alternating with a role of human oversight’.
Last but not least, the authors suggest that a more ethical human relation to technology can be recovered by focusing on human participation in technology producing communities.