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Moral MachinesTeaching Robots Right from Wrong$
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Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195374049

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374049.001.0001

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(p.55) Chapter 4 CAN (RO)BOTS REALLY BE MORAL?
Moral Machines

Wendell Wallach

Colin Allen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

How closely could artificial agents, lacking human qualities such as consciousness and emotions, come to being considered moral agents? Chapter 4 begins by discussing the issue of whether a “mere” machine can be a moral agent. A pragmatically oriented approach is developed, which recognizes that full‐blown moral agency (which depends on “strong AI”) or even AI powerful enough to pass the Turing Test may be beyond current or future technology, but locates the project of developing artificial moral agents in the space between operational morality and genuine moral agency. This niche is labeled “functional morality.” The goal of this chapter is to address the question of what the various approaches to artificial intelligence (AI) from traditional symbol‐processing approaches to more recent approaches based on embodied cognition can provide toward functional morality.

Keywords:   artificial moral agents, consciousness, emotions, functional morality, operational morality, strong AI, Turing Test

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