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…

Categorization and legality of autonomous and remote weapons systems

This article reconsiders the status and legality of both autonomous and remote weapons systems under international humanitarian law. Technologically advanced unmanned military systems are being introduced into the modern battlespace with insufficient recognition of their potential challenge to international humanitarian law. The article questions the understanding of both autonomous and remote weapons systems as ‘weapons’…

Killer Robots as cultural techniques

In October 2012 a group of non-governmental organizations formed a Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. The aim of this campaign was to preemptively ban fully autonomous weapons capable of selecting and engaging targets without human intervention. The campaign gained momentum swiftly, leading to different legal and political discussions and decision-makings. In this article, we use…

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…

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…

Philosophy and Computers

At this early stage in the development of a philosophical machine ethics, already a wide range of theoretical positions have been staked out. There are machine ethics utilitarians, and of course proponents of approaches following Kant, Ross, and various virtue theorists, too. Further categorization yields top-down, bottom-up, and hybrid approaches. A consideration of the logic…

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“…

On the anticipation of ethical conflicts between humans and robots in Japanese mangas

The following contribution examines the influence of mangas and animes on the social perception and cultural understanding of robots in Japan. Part of it is the narrow interaction between pop culture and Japanese robotics: Some examples shall serve to illustrate spill-over effects between popular robot stories and the recent development of robot technologies in Japan.…