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A Prima Facie Duty Approach to Machine Ethics and Its Application to Elder Care

AAAI Conferences

Having discovered a decision principle for a well-known prima facie duty theory in biomedical ethics to resolve particular cases of a common type of ethical dilemma, we developed three applications: a medical ethics advisor system, a medication reminder system and an instantiation of this system in a Nao robot. We are now developing a general, automated method for generating from scratch the ethics needed for a machine to function in a particular domain, without making the assumptions used in our prototype systems.


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.


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.


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).


Towards Machine Ethics

AAAI Conferences

We contend that the ethical ramifications of machine behavior, as well as recent and potential developments in machine autonomy, necessitate adding an ethical dimension to at least some machines. We lay the theoretical foundation for machine ethics by discussing the rationale for, the feasibilty of, and the benefits of adding an ethical dimension to machines. Finally, we present details of prototype systems and motivate future work.