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date: 08 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the philosophical aspects of AI and ethics. As the world today becomes increasingly populated by intelligent, socially interactive artefacts—devices that are not just instruments of human action but designed to be a kind of social actor in their own right—people will need to grapple with challenging questions concerning the status and moral standing of these machinic others. In formulating responses to these questions, one can obviously deploy the standard properties approach. This method has considerable historical precedent behind it and constitutes what can be called the default setting for addressing questions concerning moral standing. Indeed, a good deal of the current work in moral machines, machine ethics, AI ethics, and the ethics of AI follow this procedure. However, this approach, for all its advantages, also has considerable difficulties. The chapter therefore proposes an alternative approach to addressing AI ethics and the ethics of AI that circumvents many of the problems encountered in the properties approach by arranging for an ethics that is relational, radically empirical, and altruistic. This other way of thinking is informed by and follows from recent innovations in moral philosophy.

Keywords: moral standing, properties approach, moral machines, machine ethics, AI ethics, ethics of AI, moral philosophy

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