, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 207-208

Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen: Moral machines: teaching robots right from wrong

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AIS Section: News and Review

Allocation: AIS Volume 24.2

Alan Turing took an active interest in “The Imitation Game”, in which people were challenged to distinguish between male and female, or human and machine. There are now regular public events at which ever more sophisticated computer systems are presented as indistinguishable from human beings, according to the judgement of those who engage them in text based dialogue.

Wallach (from Yale University) and Allen (from Indiana University) bring a new fervour to the old debate, reflecting their status as true believers. Citing market and political forces, they argue that computers should be used to make morally important decisions, despite the fact that we cannot predict the impact of a new technology on society until well after it has been widely adopted. They conclude that “it is incumbent upon anyone with a stake in this technology to address head-on the task of implementing moral decision making in computers, robots and virtual “bots”