Wendell Wallach on robot ethics

Wendell Wallach

December 18, 2012

Wendell Wallach, lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics at Yale University, co-author of “Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong,” and contributor to the new book, “Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics,” discusses robot morality.

Though many of those interested in the ethical implications of artificial intelligence focus largely on the ethical implications of humanoid robots in the (potentially distant) future, Wallach’s studies look at moral decisions made by the technology we have now.

According to Wallach, contemporary robotic hardware and software bots routinely make decisions based upon criteria that might be differently weighted if decided by a human actor working on a case-by-case basis. The sensitivity these computers have to human factors is a vital to ensuring they make ethically sound decisions.

In order to build a more ethically robust AI, Wallach and his peers work with those in the field to increase the sensitivity displayed by the machines making the routine calculations that affect our daily lives.

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