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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Ethical Robots

I like this nyt selection of 2009 great ideas. The robots are supposed to actually morally outperform humans in some situations. The robots are not only programmed to know the international laws of war and rules of engangement, they have been given the emotion of guilt [better according to the roboticist than remorse, compassion or shame].

Posted by Orly Lobel on January 3, 2010 at 12:42 AM | Permalink


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Exactly, Jeff - which may very likely come up in combat situations.

Posted by: Mark D. White | Jan 3, 2010 11:45:57 AM

Uh oh. He probably looks that way because somebody just posed the Trolley Problem.

Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | Jan 3, 2010 10:34:07 AM

Of course they outpeform humans - but only in terms of the behavior the robots were programmed to perform, especially compared to humans, with different "programming," and acting under conditions which don't support rational thinking. I realize that's the point, and I appreciate it in the context of warfare behavior, but I think the claims of superior performance are overblown. (It reminds me of Kaplow and Shavell's proclamation that welfarist rules generate higher welfare than non-welfarist rules.)

Thanks for pointing this out, Orly - if anyone's interested, I posted more thoughts here.

Posted by: Mark D. White | Jan 3, 2010 7:54:11 AM

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