Military Robots: Mapping the Moral Landscape

Philosophers have wrestled over the morality and ethics of war for nearly as long as human beings have been waging it. The death and destruction that unmanned warfare entails magnifies the moral and ethical challenges we face in conventional warfare and everyday society. Intrinsically linked are questions and perennial problems concerning what justifies the initial…

Overriding Ethical Constraints in Lethal Autonomous Systems

This article describes the philosophy, design, and prototype implementation of an operator override system intended for use in managing unmanned robotic systems capable of lethal behavior. The ethical ramifications associated with the responsibility assignment of such a system are presented, which guide the development of the proof-of-concept system that serves as the basis for the…

Machine Ethics

Machine ethics is concerned with how machines behave toward human users and other machines. It aims to create a machine that's guided by an acceptable ethical principle or set of principles in the decisions it makes about possible courses of action it could take. As ethics experts continue to progress toward consensus concerning the right…

Machine Ethics: Creating an Ethical Intelligent Agent

The newly emerging field of machine ethics (Anderson and Anderson 2006) is concerned with adding an ethical dimension to machines. Unlike computer ethics -- which has traditionally focused on ethical issues surrounding human use of machines -- machine ethics is concerned with ensuring that the behavior of machines toward human users, and perhaps other machines…

Applied Professional Ethics for the Reluctant Roboticist

Since robots are designed to interact with humans, robotics applications always have ethical implications. Until recent decades, most robotics applications were of an industrial nature and therefore far removed from close interactions with people for safety reasons. In that milieu, the ethical impacts of robots on human relations were more subtle and could be mostly…

“Sorry, I Can’t Do That”: Developing Mechanisms to Appropriately Reject Directives in Human-Robot Interactions

Future robots will need mechanisms to determine when and how it is best to reject directives that it receives from human interlocutors. In this paper, we briefly present initial work that has been done in the DIARC/ADE cognitive robotic architecture to enable a directive rejection and explanation mechanism, showing its operation in a simple HRI…

The Inherent Dangers of Unidirectional Emotional Bonds between Humans and Social Robots

Emotional dependence on social robots is different from other human dependencies on technology (e.g., different both in kind and quality from depending on one’s cell phone, wrist watch, or PDA). To be able to understand the difference and the potential ramifications of building complex social robots that are freely deployed in human societies, we have…