Perception of Creative Responses to Moral Dilemmas by a Conversational Robot

  • Felix LindnerEmail author
  • Barbara Kuhnert
  • Laura Wächter
  • Katrin Möllney
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11876)


Moral HRI is investigating humans’ perception and reasoning regarding robots’ responses to moral dilemmas. Understanding moral dilemmas as cases of tragedy, we identify creative responses as an alternative to responses based on ethical principles such as deontology or utilitarianism. We propose a computational procedure based on AI planning that can generate such responses. We report results from an exploratory study to obtain a preliminary understanding of how the character of creative ethical reasoning robots is perceived compared to the more commonly discussed utilitarian and deontological robots.


Moral HRI Moral dilemmas Creativity 


  1. 1.
    Asimov, I.: Runaround. Gnome Press, New York (1950)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Awad, E., et al.: The moral machine experiment. Nature 563, 59–64 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Carpinella, C.M., Wyman, A.B., Perez, M.A., Stroessner, S.J.: The robotic social attributes scale (RoSAS): development and validation. In: HRI 2017 Proceedings of the 2017 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, pp. 254–262 (2017)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kaufman, J.C., Baer, J.: Sure, i’m creative – but not in mathematics!: self-reported creativity in diverse domains. Empirical. Stud. Arts. 22(2), 143–155 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kohlberg, L.: The Philosophy of Moral Development Moral Stages and the Idea of Justice. Harper & Row, San Francisco (1981)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kuhnert, B., Lindner, F., Bentzen, M.M., Ragni, M.: Perceived difficulty of moral dilemmas depends on their causal structure: a formal model and preliminary results. In: Proceedings of the COGSCI 2017 (2017)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lindner, F., Bentzen, M.M.: The hybrid ethical reasoning agent IMMANUEL. In: Proceedings of the Companion of the 2017 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, pp. 187–188. ACM (2017)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lindner, F., Mattmüller, R., Nebel, B.: Moral permissibility of action plans. In: Proceedings of AAAI, vol. 2019, no. 33, pp. 7635–7642 (2019). Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lindner, F., Wächter, L., Bentzen, M.M.: Discussions about lying with an ethical reasoning robot. In: Proceedings of the 26th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), pp. 1445–1450. IEEE, New York (2017)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Malle, B.F., Scheutz, M., Arnold, T., Voiklis, J., Cusimano, C.: Sacrifice one for the good of many?: people apply different moral norms to human and robot agents. In: HRI 2015 Proceedings of the 2015 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, pp. 117–124. ACM, New York (2015)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Runco, M.A.: Everyone has creative potential. In: Sternberg, R.J., Grigorenko, E.L., Singer, J.L. (eds.) Everyone Has Creative Potential, pp. 21–30. American Psychological Association, Washington (2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sommaggio, P., Marchiori, S.: Break the chains: a new way to consider machine’s moral problems. BioLaw J. Rivista di BioDiritto 3, 241–257 (2018)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wächter, L., Lindner, F.: An explorative comparison of blame attributions to companion robots across various moral dilemmas. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction (HAI 2018), pp. 269–276. ACM, New York (2018)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Weber, T.B.: Tragic dilemmas and the priority of the moral. J. Ethics. 4(3), 191–209 (2000). Scholar
  15. 15.
    Weston, A.: Creative Problem-Solving in Ethics. Oxford University Press, New York (2006)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felix Lindner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Barbara Kuhnert
    • 1
  • Laura Wächter
    • 1
  • Katrin Möllney
    • 1
  1. 1.Albert-Ludwigs-UniversityFreiburgGermany

Personalised recommendations