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Machine Ethics Hardcover – May 9, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0521112352 ISBN-10: 0521112354 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


"The variety of different opinions, combined with the intellectual honesty of the editors--going so far as to admit that critics might find one of their included papers to be naïve--makes for a refreshing experience. The book is suitable for beginners in the field of machine ethics, providing an introduction to this exciting new field of research."
Riemer Brouwer, Computing Reviews

"This anthology comprises a well-chosen collection of papers that are individually interesting and well worth reading on their own. Several essays stand out as exceptional contributions."
George Lazaroiu for Contemporary Readings in Law & Social Justice

Book Description

The subject of this book is a new field of research: developing ethics for machines, in contrast to developing ethics for human beings who use machines. The essays in this volume represent the first steps by philosophers and artificial intelligence researchers toward explaining why it is necessary to add an ethical dimension to machines that function autonomously.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 548 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (May 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521112354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521112352
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,205,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The future belongs to AI. This is a statement I think everyone can agree with. The difficult question is: which AI? The optimistic outlook on AI which Ray Kurzweil describes or the pessimistic one of James Barrat?

To find an answer this book might be great help. Machine Ethics is a reader which means different authors present their ideas on how ethics can be implemented to make AI somewhat controllable and human-friendly. (Friendly AI by the way is an expression coined by Eliezer Yudkowski and expresses in an unagitated way the hopes of mindful researchers).

Machine ethics is divided into five parts and gives an overview about the main issues machine ethics is concerned about: nature, importance, concerns, approaches and visions. The editors, Susan Leigh Anderson and Michael Anderson, present here a readable and comprehensive intro into machine ethics.

A great help are the introductions to the different parts where the editors describe in an understandable and interesting way the main ideas of the different articles. Without these introductions it might have been difficult to understand the impact of the numerous articles if the reader is not updated on the "big" names within the field. Anderson/Anderson have brought together different views expressed by Drew McDermott, Wendell Wallach, J. Storrs Hall, Steve Torrance, Eric Dietrich to name but a few of the contributors. I personally missed Eliezer Yudkowsky, Nick Bostrom or Bill Hibbard, each of them an authority in the field of AI ethics.

The tenor of the articles is that ethics is necessary and should be in one or the other way be built into any machine with the qualities future AI machines are going to be endowed with.
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