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Moral machines : teaching robots right from wrong / Wendell Wallach, Colin Allen.

By: Wallach, Wendell, 1946-.
Contributor(s): Allen, Colin.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009Description: xi, 275 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9780195374049 (cl. : alk. paper); 0195374045.Subject(s): Robotics | Computers -- Social aspects | Computers -- Moral and ethical aspectsDDC classification: 629.8/92 Other classification: 5,1 | CC 7260 | CC 8700 | DAT 815f | PHI 649f | SR 850 | SR 990 | ST 308
Contents:
Why machine morality? -- Engineering morality -- Does humanity want computers making moral decisions? -- Can (ro)bots really be moral? -- Philosophers, engineers, and the design of AMAs-- Top-down morality -- Bottom-up and developmental approaches -- Merging top-down and bottom-up -- Beyond vaporware? -- Beyond reason -- A more human-like AMA -- Dangers, rights, and responsibilities.
Summary: From the Publisher: Computers are already approving financial transactions, controlling electrical supplies, and driving trains. Soon, service robots will be taking care of the elderly in their homes, and military robots will have their own targeting and firing protocols. Colin Allen and Wendell Wallach argue that as robots take on more and more responsibility, they must be programmed with moral decision-making abilities, for our own safety. Taking a fast paced tour through the latest thinking about philosophical ethics and artificial intelligence, the authors argue that even if full moral agency for machines is a long way off, it is already necessary to start building a kind of functional morality, in which artificial moral agents have some basic ethical sensitivity. But the standard ethical theories don't seem adequate and more socially engaged and engaging robots will be needed. As the authors show, the quest to build machines that are capable of telling right from wrong has begun. Moral Machines is the first book to examine the challenge of building artificial moral agents, probing deeply into the nature of human decision making and ethics.
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Book University of Texas At Tyler
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TJ211 .W36 2009 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001950930

Includes bibliographical references (p. 235-262) and index.

Why machine morality? -- Engineering morality -- Does humanity want computers making moral decisions? -- Can (ro)bots really be moral? -- Philosophers, engineers, and the design of AMAs-- Top-down morality -- Bottom-up and developmental approaches -- Merging top-down and bottom-up -- Beyond vaporware? -- Beyond reason -- A more human-like AMA -- Dangers, rights, and responsibilities.

From the Publisher: Computers are already approving financial transactions, controlling electrical supplies, and driving trains. Soon, service robots will be taking care of the elderly in their homes, and military robots will have their own targeting and firing protocols. Colin Allen and Wendell Wallach argue that as robots take on more and more responsibility, they must be programmed with moral decision-making abilities, for our own safety. Taking a fast paced tour through the latest thinking about philosophical ethics and artificial intelligence, the authors argue that even if full moral agency for machines is a long way off, it is already necessary to start building a kind of functional morality, in which artificial moral agents have some basic ethical sensitivity. But the standard ethical theories don't seem adequate and more socially engaged and engaging robots will be needed. As the authors show, the quest to build machines that are capable of telling right from wrong has begun. Moral Machines is the first book to examine the challenge of building artificial moral agents, probing deeply into the nature of human decision making and ethics.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Machines that look like people, fall in love, and wreck worlds may be on their way, Wallach (Ctr. for Bioethics, Yale Univ.) and Allen (history & philosophy of science, Indiana Univ.) suggest. Realistically, however, the problem now is with computer programs that act autonomously by playing roles in electric blackouts and blocking credit cards and machines that drive subway trains and guide military vehicles. The authors carefully examine how morality is conceptualized; on the face of it, robots can't be moral agents because intelligent machines work on a combination of fixed programs and randomizing devices that create new data from which their programs can generate novelties. Wallach and Allen don't pretend that any robots we know can have full moral agency, but they see the problem instead as being one of balancing goals and risks and keeping both within the limits that people, after rational reflection, can accept. Robots can do this balancing, they argue, and it is time to get on with it. Every library should have this book.--Leslie Armour, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa, Ont. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Humans are fascinated by the promise seen in robots. It is not unlikely that soon there will be at least one robot in every household. However, from movies and books, people have also learned to fear them. As scientists build these sophisticated machines, are Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics sufficient for them to ethically function? Probably not. After all, these laws are from the (then) sci-fi literature of the 1940s. The question now is how one builds moral machines, or how one embeds (human) ethical principles in the decision making of machines that scientists build to do things instead of humans. Wallach (writer and consultant, Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics) and Allen (history and philosophy of science and cognitive science, Indiana Univ.) do not argue that they have the answers to the how-to question. But in this holistic volume, they raise many questions on what scientists need to consider when building robots. Written with an abundance of examples and lessons learned, scenarios of incidents that may happen, and elaborate discussions on existing artificial agents on the cutting edge of research/practice, Moral Machines goes beyond what is known as computer ethics into what will soon be called the discipline of machine morality. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Academic and public libraries, all levels. G. Trajkovski Laureate Higher Education Group

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<br> Wendell Wallach is a consultant and writer and is affiliated with Yale University's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics.<br> <br> Colin Allen is a Professor of History & Philosophy of Science and of Cognitive Science at Indiana University<br>

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