Goto

Collaborating Authors

The Consequences for Human Beings of Creating Ethical Robots

AAAI Conferences

We consider the consequences for human beings of attempting to create ethical robots, a goal of the new field of AI that has been called Machine Ethics. We argue that the concerns that have been raised are either unfounded, or can be minimized, and that many benefits for human beings can come from this research. In particular, working on machine ethics will force us to clarify what it means to behave ethically and thus advance the study of Ethical Theory. Also, this research will help to ensure ethically acceptable behavior from artificially intelligent agents, permitting a wider range of applications that benefit human beings. Finally, it is possible that this research could lead to the creation of ideal ethical decision-makers who might be able to teach us all how to behave more ethically. A new field of Artificial Intelligence is emerging that has been called Machine Ethics.


The Nature, Importance, and Difficulty of Machine Ethics

AITopics Original Links

Machine ethics has a broad range of possible implementations in computer technology--from maintaining detailed records in hospital databases to overseeing emergency team movements after a disaster. From a machine ethics perspective, you can look at machines as ethical-impact agents, implicit ethical agents, explicit ethical agents, or full ethical agents. A current research challenge is to develop machines that are explicit ethical agents. This research is important, but accomplishing this goal will be extremely difficult without a better understanding of ethics and of machine learning and cognition. This article is part of a special issue on Machine Ethics.


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.


Developing a General, Interactive Approach to Codifying Ethical Principles

AAAI Conferences

Building on our previous achievements in machine ethics (Anderson et al. 2006a-b, 2007, 2008), we are developing and implementing a general interactive approach to analyzing ethical dilemmas with the goal to apply it toward the end of codifying the ethical principles that will help resolve ethical dilemmas that intelligent systems will encounter in their interactions with human beings. Making a minimal epistemological commitment that there is at least one ethical duty and at least two possible actions that could be performed, the general system will: 1) incrementally construct, through an interactive exchange with experts in ethics, a representation scheme needed to handle the dilemmas with which it is presented, and 2) discover principles implicit in the judgments of these ethicists in particular cases that lead to their resolution. The system will commit only to the assumption that any ethically relevant features of a dilemma can be represented as the degree of satisfaction or violation of one or more duties that an agent must take into account to determine which of the actions that are possible in that dilemma is ethically preferable.


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).