Embedding Ethical Principles in Collective Decision Support Systems

The future will see autonomous machines acting in the same environment as humans, in areas as diverse as driving, assistive technology, and health care. Think of self-driving cars, companion robots, and medical diagnosis support systems. We also believe that humans and machines will often need to work together and agree on common decisions. Thus hybrid…

Robotic Nudges: The Ethics of Engineering a More Socially Just Human Being

Robots are becoming an increasingly pervasive feature of our personal lives. As a result, there is growing importance placed on examining what constitutes appropriate behavior when they interact with human beings. In this paper, we discuss whether companion robots should be permitted to “nudge” their human users in the direction of being “more ethical”. More…

What Should We Want From a Robot Ethic

There are at least three things we might mean by ethics in robotics: the ethical systems built into robots, the ethics of people who design and use robots, and the ethics of how people treat robots. This paper argues that the best approach to robot ethics is one which addresses all three of these, and…

Robot Caregivers: Harbingers of Expanded Freedom for All?

As we near a time when robots may serve a vital function by becoming caregivers, it is important to examine the ethical implications of this development. By applying the capabilities approach as a guide to both the design and use of robot caregivers, we hope that this will maximize opportunities to preserve or expand freedom…

How Robots Can Affect Human Behavior: Investigating the Effects of Robotic Displays of Protest and Distress

The rise of military drones and other robots deployed in ethically-sensitive contexts has fueled interest in developing autonomous agents that behave ethically. The ability for autonomous agents to independently reason about situational ethics will inevitably lead to confrontations between robots and human operators regarding the morality of issued commands. Ideally, a robot would be able…

A Prospective Framework for the Design of Ideal Artificial Moral Agents: Insights from the Science of Heroism in Humans

The growing field of machine morality has becoming increasingly concerned with how to develop artificial moral agents. However, there is little consensus on what constitutes an ideal moral agent let alone an artificial one. Leveraging a recent account of heroism in humans, the aim of this paper is to provide a prospective framework for conceptualizing,…

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…

Robotik im Kontext von Recht und Moral | Hilgendorf | Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft

Robotische Systeme bahnen sich beständig Ihren Weg in die verschiedenen Bereiche menschlichen Lebens. Der Einsatz dieser Maschinen ist längst nicht mehr auf den industriellen Bereich beschränkt. Vielfältige Anwendungsmöglichkeiten bieten auch der militärische, medizinische und häusliche Bereich. Die Allgegenwärtigkeit dieser Technologie prägt in zunehmendem Maße unseren Alltag. Das Werk „Robotik im Kontext von Recht und Moral“…

Twenty Seconds to Comply: Autonomous Weapon Systems and the Recognition of Surrender

The United States Department of Defense defines autonomous weapons as weapon systems that, once activated, can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human operator. Autonomous weapon systems are widely predicted to be the future of war fighting, at least in the armed forces of highly industrialized nations. Consequently, there is now a…

Robot ethics: A view from the philosophy of science

Robot ethics is a branch of applied ethics which endeavours to isolate and analyse ethical issues arising in connection with present and prospective uses of robots. These issues span human autonomy protection and promotion, moral responsibility and liability, privacy, fair access to technological resources, social and cultural discrimination, in addition to the ethical dimensions of…

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…

Contemporary Governance Architecture Regarding Robotics Technologies: An Assessment

Even a cursory review of the contemporary governance architecture regarding military technological innovation generally reveals a disturbing lack of consensus regarding the necessity for governance and methodologies to be utilized to achieve it. Innovations, adaptations, and uses in the areas of nanotechnology, bio-science, information science, cognitive technologies - referred to generally as NBIC - and…

Ethical Trust in the Context of Robot-Assisted Surgery

Robot Surgery began as a general practice in the United States in 2000, when the robotic da Vinci Surgical System was approved for use in hospitals by the FDA. Recently there have been some questions regarding the safety record of these machines and their benefits relative to their expense. Should we as patients and caregivers…

Governing Lethal Behavior: Embedding Ethics in a Hybrid Deliberative/Reactive Robot Architecture

This article provides the basis, motivation, theory, and design recommendations for the implementation of an ethical control and reasoning system potentially suitable for constraining lethal actions in an autonomous robotic system so that they fall within the bounds prescribed by the Laws of War and Rules of Engagement. It is based upon extensions to existing…

Machine morality: Bottom-up and top-down approaches for modelling human moral faculties

The implementation of moral decision making abilities in artificial intelligence (AI) is a natural and necessary extension to the social mechanisms of autonomous software agents and robots. Engineers exploring design strategies for systems sensitive to moral considerations in their choices and actions will need to determine what role ethical theory should play in defining control…

On the ethical framing of research programs in robotics

Robotic systems and technologies step out of research laboratories jointly with information about the long-term goals of technological inquiry they are lined up with and about the short-term objectives guiding daily laboratory activities. These various ingredients play crucial roles in the pursuit of technological research programs. A comprehensive ethical framing of technological research programs is…

“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 birth of roboethics

The importance, and urgency, of a Roboethics lay in the lesson of our recent history. Two of the front rank fields of science and technology, Nuclear Physics and Genetic Engineering, have already been forced to face the ethical consequences of their research’s applications under the pressure of dramatic and troubling events. In many countries, public…

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…

The need for moral competency in autonomous agent architectures

Artificial intelligence and robotics are rapidly advancing in their quest to build truly autonomous agents. In particular, autonomous robots are envisioned to be deployed into our society in the not-so-distant future in many different application domains, ranging from assistive robots for healthcare settings to combat robots on the battlefield. Critically, all these robots will have…

The Rights of Machines: Caring for Robotic Care-Givers

Work in the field of machine medical ethics, especially as it applies to healthcare robots, generally focuses attention on controlling the decision-making capabilities and actions of autonomous machines for the sake of respecting the rights of human beings. Absent from much of the current literature is a consideration of the other side of this issue.…