A Challenge for Machine Ethics
- Ryan Tonkens
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
That the successful development of fully autonomous artificial moral agents (AMAs) is imminent is becoming the received view within artificial intelligence research and robotics. The discipline of Machines Ethics, whose mandate is to create such ethical robots, is consequently gaining momentum. Although it is often asked whether a given moral framework can be implemented into machines, it is never asked whether it should be. This paper articulates a pressing challenge for Machine Ethics: To identify an ethical framework that is both implementable into machines and whose tenets permit the creation of such AMAs in the first place. Without consistency between ethics and engineering, the resulting AMAs would not be genuine ethical robots, and hence the discipline of Machine Ethics would be a failure in this regard. Here this challenge is articulated through a critical analysis of the development of Kantian AMAs, as one of the leading contenders for being the ethic that can be implemented into machines. In the end, however, the development of Kantian artificial moral machines is found to be anti-Kantian. The upshot of all this is that machine ethicists need to look elsewhere for an ethic to implement into their machines.
- Allen, C., Smit, I., & Wallach, W. (2005). Artificial morality: Top-down, bottom-up, and hybrid approaches. Ethics and Information Technology, 7, 149–155. CrossRef
- Allen, C., Varner, G., & Zinser, J. (2000). Prolegomena to any future artificial moral agent. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, 12(3), 251–261. CrossRef
- Allen, C., Wallach, W., & Smit, I. (2006). Why machine ethics? IEEE Intelligent Systems, 21(4), 12–17. CrossRef
- Anderson, M., & Anderson, S. L. (2006). Machine ethics. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 21(4), 10–11. CrossRef
- Anderson, M., & Anderson, S. L. (2007a). The status of machine ethics: A report from the AAAI symposium. Minds and Machines, 17, 1–10. CrossRef
- Anderson, M. & Anderson, S. L. (2007b). Machine ethics: Creating an ethical intelligent agent. AI Magazine, 28(4), 15–26.
- Boden, M. A. (Ed.). (1994). Dimensions of creativity. Cambridge: MIT Press.
- Brooks, R. A. (1991). Intelligence without representation. Artificial Intelligence, 47, 139–159. CrossRef
- Calverley, D. J. (2008). Imagining a non-biological machine as a legal person. AI & SOCIETY, 22(4), 523–537. CrossRef
- Floridi, L., & Sanders, J. W. (2007). On the morality of artificial agents. Minds and Machines, 14(3), 349–379. CrossRef
- Gips, J. (1995). Towards the ethical robot. In K. Ford, C. Glymour, & P. Hayes (Eds.), Android epistemology (pp. 243–252). Cambridge: MIT Press.
- Gips, J. (2005). Creating ethical robots: A grand challenge. AAAI symposium on machine ethics. Washington, DC.
- Grau, C. (2006). There is no ‘I’ in ‘Robot’: Robots and utilitarianism. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 21(4), 52–55. CrossRef
- Guarini, M. (2006). Particularism and the classification and reclassification of moral cases. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 21(4), 22–28. CrossRef
- Johnson, D. G. (2006). Computer systems: Moral entities but not moral agents. Ethics and Information Technology, 8, 195–204. CrossRef
- Kant, I. (1785/1988). Fundamental principles of the metaphysic of morals (T. K. Abbott, Trans.). New York: Prometheus Books.
- Kant, I. (1797/1996). The metaphysics of morals (M. Gregor, Trans.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Kant, I. (1997). Lectures on ethics (P. Heath, Trans.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- McCarthy, J. (2000). Free will—even for robots. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, 12(3), 341–352. CrossRef
- McLaren, B. (2006). Computational models of ethical reasoning: Challenges, initial steps, and future directions. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 21(4), 29–37. CrossRef
- Mill, J. S. (1871/2000). Utilitarianism. New York: Broadview.
- Moor, J. H. (2006). The nature, importance, and difficulty of machine ethics. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 21(4), 18–21. CrossRef
- Nadeau, J. E. (2006). Only androids can be ethical. In K. Ford, C. Glymour, & P. J. Hayes (Eds.), Thinking about android epistemology (pp. 241–248). Cambridge: MIT Press.
- O’Neill, O. (1989). Constructions of reason: Explorations of Kant’s practical philosophy. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Picard, R. W. (1997). Affective computing. Cambridge: MIT Press.
- Powers, T. (2006). Prospects for a Kantian machine. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 21(4), 46–51. CrossRef
- Rawls, J. (2000). Lectures on the history of moral philosophy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Sparrow, R. (2007). Killer robots. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 24(1), 62–77. CrossRef
- The U.S. Army Future Combat Systems Program. (2006). Retrieved July 31, 2008, from www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc.cfm?index=7122.
- Torrance, S. (2008). Ethics and consciousness in artificial agents. AI & SOCIETY, 22(4), 495–521. CrossRef
- Wallach, W. & Allen, C. (2009). Moral machines: Teaching robots right from wrong. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).
- Wallach, W., Allen, C., & Smit, I. (2008). Machine morality: Bottom-up and top-down approaches for modelling human moral faculties. AI & SOCIETY, 22, 565–582. CrossRef
- A Challenge for Machine Ethics
Minds and Machines
Volume 19, Issue 3 , pp 421-438
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Machine Ethics
- Artificial moral agents
- Kantian morality
- Ethical consistency
- Ryan Tonkens (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. York University, Toronto, ON, Canada