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Value Alignment, Fair Play, and the Rights of Service Robots

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Ethics and safety research in artificial intelligence is increasingly framed in terms of "alignment" with human values and interests. I argue that Turing's call for "fair play for machines" is an early and often overlooked contribution to the alignment literature. Turing's appeal to fair play suggests a need to correct human behavior to accommodate our machines, a surprising inversion of how value alignment is treated today. Reflections on "fair play" motivate a novel interpretation of Turing's notorious "imitation game" as a condition not of intelligence but instead of value alignment: a machine demonstrates a minimal degree of alignment (with the norms of conversation, for instance) when it can go undetected when interrogated by a human. I carefully distinguish this interpretation from the Moral Turing Test, which is not motivated by a principle of fair play, but instead depends on imitation of human moral behavior. Finally, I consider how the framework of fair play can be used to situate the debate over robot rights within the alignment literature. I argue that extending rights to service robots operating in public spaces is "fair" in precisely the sense that it encourages an alignment of interests between humans and machines.