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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.83) Chapter 6 TOP‐DOWN MORALITY
Moral Machines

Wendell Wallach

Colin Allen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Implementing any top‐down ethical theory of ethics in an artificial moral agent will pose both computational and practical challenges. One central concern is framing the background information necessary for rule and duty based conceptions of ethics and utilitarianism. Asimov's three laws come readily to mind when considering rules for (ro)bots, but even these apparently straightforward principles are not likely to be practical for programming moral machines. To check whether a machine's actions conform to high‐level rules such as the Golden Rule, the deontology of Kant's categorical imperative, or the general demands of consequentialism, e.g. utilitarianism, fail to be computationally tractable.

Keywords:   artificial moral agents, Asimov's Three Laws, categorical imperative, computationally tractable, consequentialism, deontology, Golden Rule, Kant, utilitarianism

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