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Machine Ethics: Creating an Ethical Intelligent Agent

AI Magazine

The newly emerging field of machine ethics (Anderson and Anderson 2006) is concerned with adding an ethical dimension to machines. Unlike computer ethics -- which has traditionally focused on ethical issues surrounding humans' use of machines -- machine ethics is concerned with ensuring that the behavior of machines toward human users, and perhaps other machines as well, is ethically acceptable. In this article we discuss the importance of machine ethics, the need for machines that represent ethical principles explicitly, and the challenges facing those working on machine ethics. We also give an example of current research in the field that shows that it is possible, at least in a limited domain, for a machine to abstract an ethical principle from examples of correct ethical judgments and use that principle to guide its own behavior.


Towards Moral Autonomous Systems

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Both the ethics of autonomous systems and the problems of their technical implementation have by now been studied in some detail. Less attention has been given to the areas in which these two separate concerns meet. This paper, written by both philosophers and engineers of autonomous systems, addresses a number of issues in machine ethics that are located at precisely the intersection between ethics and engineering. We first discuss the main challenges which, in our view, machine ethics posses to moral philosophy. We them consider different approaches towards the conceptual design of autonomous systems and their implications on the ethics implementation in such systems. Then we examine problematic areas regarding the specification and verification of ethical behavior in autonomous systems, particularly with a view towards the requirements of future legislation. We discuss transparency and accountability issues that will be crucial for any future wide deployment of autonomous systems in society. Finally we consider the, often overlooked, possibility of intentional misuse of AI systems and the possible dangers arising out of deliberately unethical design, implementation, and use of autonomous robots.


2052

AI Magazine

The newly emerging field of machine ethics (Anderson and Anderson 2006) is concerned with adding an ethical dimension to machines. Unlike computer ethics--which has traditionally focused on ethical issues surrounding humans' use of machines--machine ethics is concerned with ensuring that the behavior of machines toward human users, and perhaps other machines as well, is ethically acceptable. In this article we discuss the importance of machine ethics, the need for machines that represent ethical principles explicitly, and the challenges facing those working on machine ethics. We also give an example of current research in the field that shows that it is possible, at least in a limited domain, for a machine to abstract an ethical principle from examples of correct ethical judgments and use that principle to guide its own behavior. We need to make a distinction between what James Moor has called an "implicit ethical agent" and an "explicit ethical agent" (Moor 2006).


Implementations in Machine Ethics: A Survey

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Increasingly complex and autonomous systems require machine ethics to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks to society arising from the new technology. It is challenging to decide which type of ethical theory to employ and how to implement it effectively. This survey provides a threefold contribution. Firstly, it introduces a taxonomy to analyze the field of machine ethics from an ethical, implementational, and technical perspective. Secondly, an exhaustive selection and description of relevant works is presented. Thirdly, applying the new taxonomy to the selected works, dominant research patterns and lessons for the field are identified, and future directions for research are suggested.


The Case for Explicit Ethical Agents

AI Magazine

The science fiction writer Isaac Asimov was among their designers and make sensitive determinations a handful of visionaries who anticipated the ethical about what should be done (for example, when ethical challenges of deploying autonomous robots in principles are in conflict, they can attempt to human societies. For contexts where (Asimov 1942) were specifically designed to enable informing others of one's intention and reasoning is robots to operate safely in human physical and social crucial, these agents could then also express their reasoning environments, for these laws specify the fundamental in natural language. The key question then is societal obligations any robot has, in order of priority: whether we need such explicit ethical agents or (1) A robot may not injure a human being or, whether current implicit ethical agents are sufficient. Rather, all of the ethical its own existence as long as such protection does not behaviors in such agents will be the result of the conflict with the First or Second Law. Explicit ethical agents, on arise from attempts to apply the laws in different the other hand, will require special representations as well as inference schemes in the cognitive system morally charged situations.