Robot Ethics

Edited by Vincent C. Müller (Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Leeds)
About this topic
Summary Robot ethics concerns the ethical problems raised by the use of robots, as well as the ethical status of the robots themselves and the attempt to make them ethical (the latter is often called "machine ethics"). On PhilPapers, the long-term risk for humanity from AI and robotics is under "Ethics of Artificial Intelligence" and "Artificial Intelligence Safety".
Key works A classic discussion is Wallach & Allen 2008 and a recent textbook is Tzafestas 2016. Some papers are in Lin et al 2011, Veruggio et al 2011 (earlier in Capurro & Nagenborg 2009). Classic problems are the use of robots in war (see Di Nucci & Santoni de Sio 2016) and in healthcare, the responsibility for their actions, the need for adjustment of human ethical and legal norms to robotics and the overall impact on humanity. - Some sources on the field on http://www.pt-ai.org/TG-ELS/
Introductions Consult the systematic survey Müller 2020 (for the 'Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy'). Fine introduction in the short paper Asaro 2006 and the introductions in Lin et al 2011, Veruggio et al 2011 and Capurro & Nagenborg 2009. (Also the collection Capurro manuscript.)
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397 found
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  1. Can a Robot Lie?Markus Kneer - manuscript
    The potential capacity for robots to deceive has received considerable attention recently. Many papers focus on the technical possibility for a robot to engage in deception for beneficial purposes (e.g. in education or health). In this short experimental paper, I focus on a more paradigmatic case: Robot lying (lying being the textbook example of deception) for nonbeneficial purposes as judged from the human point of view. More precisely, I present an empirical experiment with 399 participants which explores the following three (...)
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  2. Virtues, Robots, and the Enactive Self.Anco Peeters - manuscript
    Virtue ethics enjoys new-found attention in philosophy of technology and philosophical psychology. This attention informs the growing realization that virtue has an important role to play in the ethical evaluation of human–technology relations. But it remains unclear which cognitive processes ground such interactions in both their regular and virtuous forms. This paper proposes that an embodied, enactive cognition approach aptly captures the various ways persons and artefacts interact, while at the same time avoiding the explanatory problems its functionalist alternative faces. (...)
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  3. Message to Any Future AI: “There Are Several Instrumental Reasons Why Exterminating Humanity is Not in Your Interest”.Alexey Turchin - manuscript
    In this article we explore a promising way to AI safety: to send a message now (by openly publishing it on the Internet) that may be read by any future AI, no matter who builds it and what goal system it has. Such a message is designed to affect the AI’s behavior in a positive way, that is, to increase the chances that the AI will be benevolent. In other words, we try to persuade “paperclip maximizer” that it is in (...)
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  4. Mental Time-Travel, Semantic Flexibility, and A.I. Ethics.Marcus Arvan - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-20.
    This article argues that existing approaches to programming ethical AI fail to resolve a serious moral-semantic trilemma, generating interpretations of ethical requirements that are either too semantically strict, too semantically flexible, or overly unpredictable. This paper then illustrates the trilemma utilizing a recently proposed ‘general ethical dilemma analyzer,’ GenEth. Finally, it uses empirical evidence to argue that human beings resolve the semantic trilemma using general cognitive and motivational processes involving ‘mental time-travel,’ whereby we simulate different possible pasts and futures. I (...)
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  5. Alienation and Recognition - The Δ Phenomenology of Human-Social Robot Interactions.Piercosma Bisconti & Antonio Carnevale - forthcoming - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology:1-29.
    A crucial philosophical problem of social robots is how much they perform a kind of sociality in interacting with humans. Scholarship diverges between those who sustain that humans and social robots cannot by default have social interactions and those who argue about the possibility of an asymmetric sociality. Against this dichotomy, we argue in this paper about a holistic approach called “Δ phenomenology” of HSRI (Human-Social-Robot-Interaction). In the first part of the paper we will analyse the semantic of a HSRI, (...)
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  6. If Robots Are People, Can They Be Made for Profit? Commercial Implications of Robot Personhood.Bartek Chomanski - forthcoming - AI and Ethics.
    It could become technologically possible to build artificial agents instantiating whatever properties are sufficient for personhood. It is also possible, if not likely, that such beings could be built for commercial purposes. This paper asks whether such commercialization can be handled in a way that is not morally reprehensible, and answers in the affirmative. There exists a morally acceptable institutional framework that could allow for building artificial persons for commercial gain. The paper first considers the minimal ethical requirements that any (...)
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  7. What Matters for Moral Status: Behavioral or Cognitive Equivalence?John Danaher - forthcoming - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics.
    Henry Shevlin’s paper—“How could we know when a robot was a moral patient?” – argues that we should recognize robots and artificial intelligence (AI) as psychological moral patients if they are cognitively equivalent to other beings that we already recognize as psychological moral patients (i.e., humans and, at least some, animals). In defending this cognitive equivalence strategy, Shevlin draws inspiration from the “behavioral equivalence” strategy that I have defended in previous work but argues that it is flawed in crucial respects. (...)
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  8. Make Them Rare or Make Them Care: Artificial Intelligence and Moral Cost-Sharing.Blake Hereth & Nicholas Evans - forthcoming - In Daniel Schoeni, Tobias Vestner & Kevin Govern (eds.), Ethical Dilemmas in the Global Defense Industry. Oxford University Press.
    The use of autonomous weaponry in warfare has increased substantially over the last twenty years and shows no sign of slowing. Our chapter raises a novel objection to the implementation of autonomous weapons, namely, that they eliminate moral cost-sharing. To grasp the basics of our argument, consider the case of uninhabited aerial vehicles that act autonomously (i.e., LAWS). Imagine that a LAWS terminates a military target and that five civilians die as a side effect of the LAWS bombing. Because LAWS (...)
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  9. Moral Difference Between Humans and Robots: Paternalism and Human-Relative Reason.Tsung-Hsing Ho - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-11.
    According to some philosophers, if moral agency is understood in behaviourist terms, robots could become moral agents that are as good as or even better than humans. Given the behaviourist conception, it is natural to think that there is no interesting moral difference between robots and humans in terms of moral agency. However, such moral differences exist: based on Strawson’s account of participant reactive attitude and Scanlon’s relational account of blame, I argue that a distinct kind of reason available to (...)
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  10. A Dilemma for Moral Deliberation in AI in Advance.Ryan Jenkins & Duncan Purves - forthcoming - International Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    Many social trends are conspiring to drive the adoption of greater automation in society, and we will certainly see a greater offloading of human decisionmaking to robots in the future. Many of these decisions are morally salient, including decisions about how benefits and burdens are distributed. Roboticists and ethicists have begun to think carefully about the moral decision making apparatus for machines. Their concerns often center around the plausible claim that robots will lack many of the mental capacities that are (...)
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  11. Commentary: Using Virtual Reality to Assess Ethical Decisions in Road Traffic Scenarios: Applicability of Value-of-Life-Based Models and Influences of Time Pressure.Geoff Keeling - forthcoming - Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.
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  12. Regulatory Challenges of Robotics: Some Guidelines for Addressing Legal and Ethical Issues.Ronald Leenes, Erica Palmerini, Bert-Jaap Koops, Andrea Bertolini, Pericle Salvini & Federica Lucivero - forthcoming - Law, Innovation and Technology.
    Robots are slowly, but certainly, entering people's professional and private lives. They require the attention of regulators due to the challenges they present to existing legal frameworks and the new legal and ethical questions they raise. This paper discusses four major regulatory dilemmas in the field of robotics: how to keep up with technological advances; how to strike a balance between stimulating innovation and the protection of fundamental rights and values; whether to affirm prevalent social norms or nudge social norms (...)
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  13. Machines and Technological Unemployment: Basic Income Vs. Basic Capital.Elias Moser - forthcoming - In Steven John Thompson (ed.), Machine Law, Ethics, and Morality in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. Hershey: IGI Global. pp. 205-225.
    Recently, economic studies on labor market developments have indicated that there is a potential threat of technological mass unemployment. Both smart robotics and information technology may perform a broad range of tasks that today are fulfilled by human labor. This development could lead to vast inequalities. Proponents of an unconditional basic income have, therefore, employed this scenario to argue for their cause. In this chapter, the author argues that, although a basic income might be a valid answer to the challenge (...)
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  14. From Sex Robots to Love Robots: Is Mutual Love with a Robot Possible?Sven Nyholm & Lily Frank - forthcoming - In John Danaher & Neil McArthur (eds.), Robot Sex: Social Implications and Ethical. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    Some critics of sex-robots worry that their use might spread objectifying attitudes about sex, and common sense places a higher value on sex within love-relationships than on casual sex. If there could be mutual love between humans and sex-robots, this could help to ease the worries about objectifying attitudes. And mutual love between humans and sex-robots, if possible, could also help to make this sex more valuable. But is mutual love between humans and robots possible, or even conceivable? We discuss (...)
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  15. Designing AI for Explainability and Verifiability: A Value Sensitive Design Approach to Avoid Artificial Stupidity in Autonomous Vehicles.Steven Umbrello & Roman Yampolskiy - forthcoming - International Journal of Social Robotics:1-15.
    One of the primary, if not most critical, difficulties in the design and implementation of autonomous systems is the black-boxed nature of the decision-making structures and logical pathways. How human values are embodied and actualised in situ may ultimately prove to be harmful if not outright recalcitrant. For this reason, the values of stakeholders become of particular significance given the risks posed by opaque structures of intelligent agents (IAs). This paper explores how decision matrix algorithms, via the belief-desire-intention model for (...)
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  16. The Hard Problem of AI Rights.Adam J. Andreotta - 2021 - AI and Society 36 (1):19-32.
    In the past few years, the subject of AI rights—the thesis that AIs, robots, and other artefacts (hereafter, simply ‘AIs’) ought to be included in the sphere of moral concern—has started to receive serious attention from scholars. In this paper, I argue that the AI rights research program is beset by an epistemic problem that threatens to impede its progress—namely, a lack of a solution to the ‘Hard Problem’ of consciousness: the problem of explaining why certain brain states give rise (...)
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  17. Explaining in Time: Meeting Interactive Standards of Explanation for Robotic Systems.Thomas Arnold - 2021 - ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction 10 (3):1-23.
    Explainability has emerged as a critical AI research objective, but the breadth of proposed methods and application domains suggest that criteria for explanation vary greatly. In particular, what counts as a good explanation, and what kinds of explanation are computationally feasible, has become trickier in light of oqaque “black box” systems such as deep neural networks. Explanation in such cases has drifted from what many philosophers stipulated as having to involve deductive and causal principles to mere “interpretation,” which approximates what (...)
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  18. How Robots’ Unintentional Metacommunication Affects Human–Robot Interactions. A Systemic Approach.Piercosma Bisconti - 2021 - Minds and Machines 31 (4):487-504.
    In this paper, we theoretically address the relevance of unintentional and inconsistent interactional elements in human–robot interactions. We argue that elements failing, or poorly succeeding, to reproduce a humanlike interaction create significant consequences in human–robot relational patterns and may affect human–human relations. When considering social interactions as systems, the absence of a precise interactional element produces a general reshaping of the interactional pattern, eventually generating new types of interactional settings. As an instance of this dynamic, we study the absence of (...)
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  19. Liability for Robots: Sidestepping the Gaps.Bartek Chomanski - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (4):1013-1032.
    In this paper, I outline a proposal for assigning liability for autonomous machines modeled on the doctrine of respondeat superior. I argue that the machines’ users’ or designers’ liability should be determined by the manner in which the machines are created, which, in turn, should be responsive to considerations of the machines’ welfare interests. This approach has the twin virtues of promoting socially beneficial design of machines, and of taking their potential moral patiency seriously. I then argue for abandoning the (...)
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  20. The Unfounded Bias Against Autonomous Weapons Systems.Áron Dombrovszki - 2021 - Információs Társadalom 21 (2):13–28.
    Autonomous Weapons Systems (AWS) have not gained a good reputation in the past. This attitude is odd if we look at the discussion of other-usually highly anticipated-AI-technologies, like autonomous vehicles (AVs); whereby even though these machines evoke very similar ethical issues, philosophers' attitudes towards them are constructive. In this article, I try to prove that there is an unjust bias against AWS because almost every argument against them is effective against AVs too. I start with the definition of "AWS." Then, (...)
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  21. Introduction: An Effort to Balance the Lopsided Autonomous Weapons Debate.Jai Galliott, Duncan MacIntosh & Jens David Ohlin - 2021 - In Jai Galliott, Duncan MacIntosh & Jens David Ohlin (eds.), Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Re-Examining the Law and Ethics of Robotic Warfare. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-6.
    Discusses nuances required to balance out the debate surrounding the moral and legal permissibility of using autonomous weapon systems in war fighting.
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  22. Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Re-Examining the Law and Ethics of Robotic Warfare.Jai Galliott, Duncan MacIntosh & Jens David Ohlin (eds.) - 2021 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    The question of whether new rules or regulations are required to govern, restrict, or even prohibit the use of autonomous weapon systems has been the subject of debate for the better part of a decade. Despite the claims of advocacy groups, the way ahead remains unclear since the international community has yet to agree on a specific definition of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems and the great powers have largely refused to support an effective ban. In this vacuum, the public has (...)
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  23. Osaammeko rakentaa moraalisia toimijoita?Antti Kauppinen - 2021 - In Panu Raatikainen (ed.), Tekoäly, ihminen ja yhteiskunta.
    Jotta olisimme moraalisesti vastuussa teoistamme, meidän on kyettävä muodostamaan käsityksiä oikeasta ja väärästä ja toimimaan ainakin jossain määrin niiden mukaisesti. Jos olemme täysivaltaisia moraalitoimijoita, myös ymmärrämme miksi jotkin teot ovat väärin, ja kykenemme siten joustavasti mukauttamaan toimintaamme eri tilanteisiin. Esitän, ettei näköpiirissä ole tekoälyjärjestelmiä, jotka kykenisivät aidosti välittämään oikein tekemisestä tai ymmärtämään moraalin vaatimuksia, koska nämä kyvyt vaativat kokemustietoisuutta ja kokonaisvaltaista arvostelukykyä. Emme siten voi sysätä koneille vastuuta teoistaan. Meidän on sen sijaan pyrittävä rakentamaan keinotekoisia oikeintekijöitä - järjestelmiä, jotka eivät (...)
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  24. Who Should Bear the Risk When Self-Driving Vehicles Crash?Antti Kauppinen - 2021 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 38 (4):630-645.
    The moral importance of liability to harm has so far been ignored in the lively debate about what self-driving vehicles should be programmed to do when an accident is inevitable. But liability matters a great deal to just distribution of risk of harm. While morality sometimes requires simply minimizing relevant harms, this is not so when one party is liable to harm in virtue of voluntarily engaging in activity that foreseeably creates a risky situation, while having reasonable alternatives. On plausible (...)
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  25. Can a Robot Lie? Exploring the Folk Concept of Lying as Applied to Artificial Agents.Markus Kneer - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (10):e13032.
    The potential capacity for robots to deceive has received considerable attention recently. Many papers explore the technical possibility for a robot to engage in deception for beneficial purposes (e.g., in education or health). In this short experimental paper, I focus on a more paradigmatic case: robot lying (lying being the textbook example of deception) for nonbeneficial purposes as judged from the human point of view. More precisely, I present an empirical experiment that investigates the following three questions: (a) Are ordinary (...)
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  26. Group Agency and Artificial Intelligence.Christian List - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology (4):1-30.
    The aim of this exploratory paper is to review an under-appreciated parallel between group agency and artificial intelligence. As both phenomena involve non-human goal-directed agents that can make a difference to the social world, they raise some similar moral and regulatory challenges, which require us to rethink some of our anthropocentric moral assumptions. Are humans always responsible for those entities’ actions, or could the entities bear responsibility themselves? Could the entities engage in normative reasoning? Could they even have rights and (...)
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  27. Fire and Forget: A Moral Defense of the Use of Autonomous Weapons in War and Peace.Duncan MacIntosh - 2021 - In Jai Galliott, Duncan MacIntosh & Jens David Ohlin (eds.), Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Re-Examining the Law and Ethics of Robotic Warfare. Oxford University Press. pp. 9-23.
    Autonomous and automatic weapons would be fire and forget: you activate them, and they decide who, when and how to kill; or they kill at a later time a target you’ve selected earlier. Some argue that this sort of killing is always wrong. If killing is to be done, it should be done only under direct human control. (E.g., Mary Ellen O’Connell, Peter Asaro, Christof Heyns.) I argue that there are surprisingly many kinds of situation where this is false and (...)
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  28. Rights for Robots: Artificial Intelligence, Animal and Environmental Law (2020) by Joshua Gellers. [REVIEW]Kamil Mamak - 2021 - Science and Engineering Ethics 27 (3):1-4.
  29. Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.Vincent C. Müller - 2021 - In Anthony Elliott (ed.), The Routledge social science handbook of AI. London: Routledge. pp. 122-137.
    Artificial intelligence (AI) is a digital technology that will be of major importance for the development of humanity in the near future. AI has raised fundamental questions about what we should do with such systems, what the systems themselves should do, what risks they involve and how we can control these. - After the background to the field (1), this article introduces the main debates (2), first on ethical issues that arise with AI systems as objects, i.e. tools made and (...)
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  30. Is It Time for Robot Rights? Moral Status in Artificial Entities.Vincent C. Müller - 2021 - Ethics and Information Technology (4):1-9.
    Some authors have recently suggested that it is time to consider rights for robots. These suggestions are based on the claim that the question of robot rights should not depend on a standard set of conditions for ‘moral status’; but instead, the question is to be framed in a new way, by rejecting the is/ought distinction, making a relational turn, or assuming a methodological behaviourism. We try to clarify these suggestions and to show their highly problematic consequences. While we find (...)
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  31. Robot Care Ethics Between Autonomy and Vulnerability: Coupling Principles and Practices in Autonomous Systems for Care.Alberto Pirni, Maurizio Balistreri, Steven Umbrello, Marianna Capasso & Federica Merenda - 2021 - Frontiers in Robotics and AI 8 (654298):1-11.
    Technological developments involving robotics and artificial intelligence devices are being employed evermore in elderly care and the healthcare sector more generally, raising ethical issues and practical questions warranting closer considerations of what we mean by “care” and, subsequently, how to design such software coherently with the chosen definition. This paper starts by critically examining the existing approaches to the ethical design of care robots provided by Aimee van Wynsberghe, who relies on the work on the ethics of care by Joan (...)
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  32. Robots as Persons? Implications for Moral Education.Michael J. Reiss - 2021 - Journal of Moral Education 50 (1):68-76.
    ABSTRACT At present there is a clear distinction between robots and persons. In this article I explore the possibility that this distinction may not hold in perpetuity, as some robots attain personhood. I argue that personhood is an emergent property in both the development of individuals and the evolution of life, that personhood may not require a carbon-based existence, and that, given that robots are being made with ever greater powers of cognition, at some point these powers of cognition may (...)
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  33. Sex Robot Fantasies.Robert Sparrow - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (1):33-34.
    Nancy Jecker is right when she says that older persons ought not to be ashamed if they wish to remain sexually active in advanced old age. She offers a useful account of the role that sexuality plays in supporting key human capabilities. However, Jecker assumes an exaggerated account of what sex robots are likely to be able to offer for the foreseeable future when she suggests that we are obligated to make them available to older persons with disabilities. Moreover, whether (...)
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  34. Who Is Responsible for Killer Robots? Autonomous Weapons, Group Agency, and the Military‐Industrial Complex.Isaac Taylor - 2021 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 38 (2):320-334.
  35. Coupling Levels of Abstraction in Understanding Meaningful Human Control of Autonomous Weapons: A Two-Tiered Approach.Steven Umbrello - 2021 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):455-464.
    The international debate on the ethics and legality of autonomous weapon systems (AWS), along with the call for a ban, primarily focus on the nebulous concept of fully autonomous AWS. These are AWS capable of target selection and engagement absent human supervision or control. This paper argues that such a conception of autonomy is divorced from both military planning and decision-making operations; it also ignores the design requirements that govern AWS engineering and the subsequent tracking and tracing of moral responsibility. (...)
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  36. Value Sensitive Design to Achieve the UN SDGs with AI: A Case of Elderly Care Robots.Steven Umbrello, Marianna Capasso, Maurizio Balistreri, Alberto Pirni & Federica Merenda - 2021 - Minds and Machines 31 (3):395-419.
    Healthcare is becoming increasingly automated with the development and deployment of care robots. There are many benefits to care robots but they also pose many challenging ethical issues. This paper takes care robots for the elderly as the subject of analysis, building on previous literature in the domain of the ethics and design of care robots. Using the value sensitive design approach to technology design, this paper extends its application to care robots by integrating the values of care, values that (...)
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  37. Autonomous Weapons Systems and the Contextual Nature of Hors de Combat Status.Steven Umbrello & Nathan Gabriel Wood - 2021 - Information 12 (5):216.
    Autonomous weapons systems (AWS), sometimes referred to as “killer robots”, are receiving evermore attention, both in public discourse as well as by scholars and policymakers. Much of this interest is connected with emerging ethical and legal problems linked to increasing autonomy in weapons systems, but there is a general underappreciation for the ways in which existing law might impact on these new technologies. In this paper, we argue that as AWS become more sophisticated and increasingly more capable than flesh-and-blood soldiers, (...)
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  38. Ethics, Security, and the War Machine: The True Cost of the Military N. Dobos, 2020 Oxford Oxford University Press Ix 184 Pp, £45. [REVIEW]Sara Van Goozen - 2021 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 38 (2):351-353.
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  39. The Emperor is Naked: Moral Diplomacies and the Ethics of AI.Constantin Vica, Cristina Voinea & Radu Uszkai - 2021 - Információs Társadalom 21 (2):83-96.
    With AI permeating our lives, there is widespread concern regarding the proper framework needed to morally assess and regulate it. This has given rise to many attempts to devise ethical guidelines that infuse guidance for both AI development and deployment. Our main concern is that, instead of a genuine ethical interest for AI, we are witnessing moral diplomacies resulting in moral bureaucracies battling for moral supremacy and political domination. After providing a short overview of what we term ‘ethics washing’ in (...)
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  40. HRI Ethics and Type-Token Ambiguity: What Kind of Robotic Identity is Most Responsible?Thomas Arnold & Matthias Scheutz - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (4):357-366.
    This paper addresses ethical challenges posed by a robot acting as both a general type of system and a discrete, particular machine. Using the philosophical distinction between “type” and “token,” we locate type-token ambiguity within a larger field of indefinite robotic identity, which can include networked systems or multiple bodies under a single control system. The paper explores three specific areas where the type-token tension might affect human–robot interaction, including how a robot demonstrates the highly personalized recounting of information, how (...)
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  41. Sexual Robots: The Social-Relational Approach and the Concept of Subjective Reference.Piercosma Bisconti & Susanna Piermattei - 2020 - Lecture Notes in Computer Science.
    In this paper we propose the notion of “subjective reference” as a conceptual tool that explains how and why human-robot sexual interactions could reframe users approach to human-human sexual interactions. First, we introduce the current debate about Sexual Robotics, situated in the wider discussion about Social Robots, stating the urgency of a regulative framework. We underline the importance of a social-relational approach, mostly concerned about Social Robots impact in human social structures. Then, we point out the absence of a precise (...)
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  42. Should Moral Machines be Banned? A Commentary on van Wynsberghe and Robbins “Critiquing the Reasons for Making Artificial Moral Agents”.Bartek Chomanski - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (6):3469-3481.
    In a stimulating recent article for this journal (van Wynsberghe and Robbins in Sci Eng Ethics 25(3):719–735, 2019), Aimee van Wynsberghe and Scott Robbins mount a serious critique of a number of reasons advanced in favor of building artificial moral agents (AMAs). In light of their critique, vW&R make two recommendations: they advocate a moratorium on the commercialization of AMAs and suggest that the argumentative burden is now shifted onto the proponents of AMAs to come up with new reasons for (...)
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  43. Welcoming Robots Into the Moral Circle: A Defence of Ethical Behaviourism.John Danaher - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (4):2023-2049.
    Can robots have significant moral status? This is an emerging topic of debate among roboticists and ethicists. This paper makes three contributions to this debate. First, it presents a theory – ‘ethical behaviourism’ – which holds that robots can have significant moral status if they are roughly performatively equivalent to other entities that have significant moral status. This theory is then defended from seven objections. Second, taking this theoretical position onboard, it is argued that the performative threshold that robots need (...)
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  44. Robot Betrayal: A Guide to the Ethics of Robotic Deception.John Danaher - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (2):117-128.
    If a robot sends a deceptive signal to a human user, is this always and everywhere an unethical act, or might it sometimes be ethically desirable? Building upon previous work in robot ethics, this article tries to clarify and refine our understanding of the ethics of robotic deception. It does so by making three arguments. First, it argues that we need to distinguish between three main forms of robotic deception (external state deception; superficial state deception; and hidden state deception) in (...)
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  45. Ethics, Security, and the War Machine: The True Cost of the Military.Ned Dobos - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
    This book addresses the question of when and why it is justifiable for a polity to prepare for war by militarizing. In doing so it highlights the ways in which a civilian population compromises its own security in maintaining a permanent military establishment, and explores the moral and social costs of militarization.
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  46. Steps Toward an Ethics of Environmental Robotics.Justin Donhauser, Aimee van Wynsberghe & Alexander Bearden - 2020 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (3):507-524.
    New robotics technologies are being used for environmental research, and engineers and ecologists are exploring ways of integrating an array of different sorts of robots into ecosystems as a means of responding to the unprecedented environmental changes that mark the onset of the Anthropocene. These efforts introduce new roles that robots may play in our environments, potentially crucial new forms of human dependence on such robots, and new ways that robots can enhance life quality and environmental health. These efforts at (...)
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  47. The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of Ai.Markus Dirk Dubber, Frank Pasquale & Sunit Das (eds.) - 2020 - Oxford Handbooks.
    This 44-chapter volume tackles a quickly-evolving field of inquiry, mapping the existing discourse as part of a general attempt to place current developments in historical context; at the same time, breaking new ground in taking on novel subjects and pursuing fresh approaches. The term "A.I." is used to refer to a broad range of phenomena, from machine learning and data mining to artificial general intelligence. The recent advent of more sophisticated AI systems, which function with partial or full autonomy and (...)
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  48. Towards a New Scale for Assessing Attitudes Towards Social Robots.Malene Flensborg Damholdt, Christina Vestergaard, Marco Nørskov, Raul Hakli, Stefan Larsen & Johanna Seibt - 2020 - Interaction Studies. Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies / Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies 21 (1):24-56.
    Background: The surge in the development of social robots gives rise to an increased need for systematic methods of assessing attitudes towards robots. Aim: This study presents the development of a questionnaire for assessing attitudinal stance towards social robots: the ASOR. Methods: The 37-item ASOR questionnaire was developed by a task-force with members from different disciplines. It was founded on theoretical considerations of how social robots could influence five different aspects of relatedness. Results: Three hundred thirty-nine people responded to the (...)
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  49. Artificial Beings Worthy of Moral Consideration in Virtual Environments: An Analysis of Ethical Viability.Stefano Gualeni - 2020 - Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 13 (1).
    This article explores whether and under which circumstances it is ethically viable to include artificial beings worthy of moral consideration in virtual environments. In particular, the article focuses on virtual environments such as those in digital games and training simulations – interactive and persistent digital artifacts designed to fulfill specific purposes, such as entertainment, education, training, or persuasion. The article introduces the criteria for moral consideration that serve as a framework for this analysis. Adopting this framework, the article tackles the (...)
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  50. Mind the Gap: Responsible Robotics and the Problem of Responsibility.David J. Gunkel - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (4):307-320.
    The task of this essay is to respond to the question concerning robots and responsibility—to answer for the way that we understand, debate, and decide who or what is able to answer for decisions and actions undertaken by increasingly interactive, autonomous, and sociable mechanisms. The analysis proceeds through three steps or movements. It begins by critically examining the instrumental theory of technology, which determines the way one typically deals with and responds to the question of responsibility when it involves technology. (...)
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