Mapping the ethic-theoretical foundations of Artificial Intelligence research

Gareth White*, Anthony Samuel, Paul Jones, Naveen Madhavan, Ademola Afolayan, Ahmed Abdullah, Tanmay Kaushik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The issue of AI ethics is a prominent research subject. While there is a compendious literature that explores this area, surprisingly little of it makes explicit reference to the ethic-theoretical foundations upon which it is built. To address this matter, this study makes an examination of the AI-Ethics literature to identify its ethic-theoretical foundations. The study identifies the lack of AI ethics literature that draws upon seminal ethics works and the ensuing disconnectedness among the publications on this subject. It also uncovers numerous non-Western ethic-theoretical positions that can be adopted and may afford new insight into AI ethics research and practice. Employing these alternative lenses may obviate the tendency for Western worldviews to dominate the academic literature. The study provides some guidance for future AI ethics research which should endeavour to clearly articulate its chosen ethic-theoretical position, and for practice which could benefit from understanding and articulating the principles upon which AI systems are founded. It also provides some observations of, and guidance for, the utilization of Litmaps software in the conduct of Literature reviews.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22368
Number of pages13
JournalThunderbird International Business Review
Issue number00
Early online date6 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Feb 2024


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • AI
  • ethics
  • non-western
  • western


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