The development of military robots deployed on the battlefield and service robots in the home underscore the need for artificial moral agents. However, autonomous bots within existing computer systems are already making decisions that affect humans for good or for bad. The topic of (ro)bot (a spelling that represents both robots and software bots within computer systems) morality has been explored in science fiction by authors such as Isaac Asimov with his three laws of robotics, in television shows such as Star Trek, and in various Hollywood movies. However, the project of this book is not science fiction. Rather, current developments in computer science and robotics necessitate the project of building artificial moral agents. The preface places machine morality in the context of philosophical ethics and other sources of moral principles, and outlines the chapters for the remainder of the book.
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