Truly Autonomous Machines Are Ethical

12/05/2018 ∙ by John Hooker, et al. ∙ 0

While many see the prospect of autonomous machines as threatening, autonomy may be exactly what we want in a superintelligent machine. There is a sense of autonomy, deeply rooted in the ethical literature, in which an autonomous machine is necessarily an ethical one. Development of the theory underlying this idea not only reveals the advantages of autonomy, but it sheds light on a number of issues in the ethics of artificial intelligence. It helps us to understand what sort of obligations we owe to machines, and what obligations they owe to us. It clears up the issue of assigning responsibility to machines or their creators. More generally, a concept of autonomy that is adequate to both human and artificial intelligence can lead to a more adequate ethical theory for both.

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