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Future Intelligent Autonomous Robots, Ethical by Design. Learning from Autonomous Cars Ethics

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Development of the intelligent autonomous robot technology presupposes its anticipated beneficial effect on the individuals and societies. In the case of such disruptive emergent technology, not only questions of how to build, but also why to build and with what consequences are important. The field of ethics of intelligent autonomous robotic cars is a good example of research with actionable practical value, where a variety of stakeholders, including the legal system and other societal and governmental actors, as well as companies and businesses, collaborate bringing about shared view of ethics and societal aspects of technology. It could be used as a starting platform for the approaches to the development of intelligent autonomous robots in general, considering human-machine interfaces in different phases of the life cycle of technology - the development, implementation, testing, use and disposal. Drawing from our work on ethics of autonomous intelligent robocars, and the existing literature on ethics of robotics, our contribution consists of a set of values and ethical principles with identified challenges and proposed approaches for meeting them. This may help stakeholders in the field of intelligent autonomous robotics to connect ethical principles with their applications. Our recommendations of ethical requirements for autonomous cars can be used for other types of intelligent autonomous robots, with the caveat for social robots that require more research regarding interactions with the users. We emphasize that existing ethical frameworks need to be applied in a context-sensitive way, by assessments in interdisciplinary, multi-competent teams through multi-criteria analysis. Furthermore, we argue for the need of a continuous development of ethical principles, guidelines, and regulations, informed by the progress of technologies and involving relevant stakeholders.


Responses to a Critique of Artificial Moral Agents

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The field of machine ethics is concerned with the question of how to embed ethical behaviors, or a means to determine ethical behaviors, into artificial intelligence (AI) systems. The goal is to produce artificial moral agents (AMAs) that are either implicitly ethical (designed to avoid unethical consequences) or explicitly ethical (designed to behave ethically). Van Wynsberghe and Robbins' (2018) paper Critiquing the Reasons for Making Artificial Moral Agents critically addresses the reasons offered by machine ethicists for pursuing AMA research; this paper, co-authored by machine ethicists and commentators, aims to contribute to the machine ethics conversation by responding to that critique. The reasons for developing AMAs discussed in van Wynsberghe and Robbins (2018) are: it is inevitable that they will be developed; the prevention of harm; the necessity for public trust; the prevention of immoral use; such machines are better moral reasoners than humans, and building these machines would lead to a better understanding of human morality. In this paper, each co-author addresses those reasons in turn. In so doing, this paper demonstrates that the reasons critiqued are not shared by all co-authors; each machine ethicist has their own reasons for researching AMAs. But while we express a diverse range of views on each of the six reasons in van Wynsberghe and Robbins' critique, we nevertheless share the opinion that the scientific study of AMAs has considerable value.


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.


Robots: Lifesavers or Terminators?

#artificialintelligence

Government officials say autonomous vehicles will make transportation safer, more accessible, more efficient and cleaner and last week, the Department of Transportation released guidelines for the testing and deployment of automated vehicles, which detail how the vehicles should perform, and include a model for state policies. Self-driving vehicles are just the tip of the autonomous revolution. In 2016, autonomous robot doctors perform surgery; algorithms invest your money; robocops patrol shopping malls; and if you end up in hospital, a computer system can determine how quickly you get treated. Many decisions made by autonomous machines have moral implications -- yet little is determined about what ethics machines follow, or who decides what those ethical assumptions should be. In Florida in May, Joshua Brown died when an autopilot system did not recognize a tractor-trailer turning in front of his Tesla Model S and his car plowed into it -- the first fatality involving an autonomous vehicle.


THE TECHNOLOGICAL CITIZEN » "Moral Machines" By Wendell Wallach and Collin Allen

#artificialintelligence

In the 2004 film I, Robot, Will Smith's character Detective Spooner harbors a deep grudge for all things technological -- and turns out to be justified after a new generation of robots engage in a full out, summer blockbuster-style revolt against their human creators. Why was Detective Spooner such a Luddite–even before the Robots' vicious revolt? Much of his resentment stems from a car accident he endured in which a robot saved his life instead of a little girl's. The robot's decision haunts Smith's character throughout the movie; he feels the decision lacked emotion, and what one might call'humanity'. "I was the logical choice," he says. "(The robot) calculated that I had a 45% chance of survival. Sarah only had an 11% chance." He continues, dramatically, "But that was somebody's baby. A human being would've known that."