Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195374049
ISBN-10: 0195374045
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$16.97 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$38.95 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
23 New from $8.46 24 Used from $3.89

There is a newer edition of this item:

Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Save Up to 90% on Textbooks Textbooks
$38.95 FREE Shipping. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong
  • +
  • Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots
Total price: $85.24
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review


"An invaluable guide to avoiding the stuff of science-fiction nightmares."--John Gilby, Times Higher Education


"Moral Machines is a fine introduction to the emerging field of robot ethics. There is much here that will interest ethicists, philosophers, cognitive scientists, and roboticists."--Peter Danielson, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews


"Written with an abundance of examples and lessons learned, scenarios of incidents that may happen, and elaborate discussions on existing artificial agents on the cutting edge of research/practice, Moral Machines goes beyond what is known as computer ethics into what will soon be called the discipline of machine morality. Highly recommended."--G. Trajkovski, CHOICE


"The book does succeed in making the essential point that the phrase 'moral machine' is not an oxymoron. It also provides a window onto an area of research with which psychologists are unlikely to be familiar and one from which, at some point, we may be able to learn quite a lot."--PsycCRITIQUES


"In a single, thought-provoking volume, the authors not only introduce machine ethics, but also an inquiry that penetrates to the deepest foundations of ethics. The conscientious reader will, no doubt, find many challenging ideas here that will require a reassessment of her own beliefs, making this text a "must read" among recent books in philosophy and, more specifically, applied ethics."--Tony Beavers, Ethics and Information Technology


"... Moral Machines raises a host of interesting and stimulating philosophical questions and engineering problems, and highlights likely important future debates-- which is a great success for a book that comes on the brink of a field that is likely to surge in popularity in the upcoming decade. Wallach and Allen do so with a clarity and structure that makes their book simultaneously informative and enjoyable to read. Overall, this book is highly recommended reading for all those who already have an interest in the field of machine morality or for those who desire to develop an interest in the field." -- Philosophical Psychology


About the Author


Wendell Wallach is a consultant and writer and is affiliated with Yale University's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics.

Colin Allen is a Professor of History & Philosophy of Science and of Cognitive Science at Indiana University
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


China
Engineering & Transportation Books
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195374045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195374049
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.9 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,610,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book seem to have been infected with the same disease that has ravaged the field of bioethics - the failure to grasp that specialized ethics can only proceed from a general theory of ethics. Without a clear specification of the latter, any attempt to devise ethics for robots, or for physicians, is doomed to incoherence, ambiguity, and confusion. Hence, the main problem with Moral Machines is that it lacks an attempt to reach clarity on human ethics. The book does excel in pointing out the problems with conventional thinking about robot morality, but it fails to describe solutions. The authors' suggestion of having robots acquire morality in the same way that humans do, does not solve the problem. It only guarantees that robots will be as morally confused as we are (e.g. 40% of people would save their dog's life over that of a stranger, according to a recent study at Georgia Regents University). Moreover, this approach fails to select a particular moral tradition in which to raise our robots: Lutheranism? Mormonism? Leftism? Just as we don't want robots to share common confusions about, say, surgical techniques, we don't want them similarly confused about ethics.

This book, which I nonetheless recommend, suffers from the timid, diffident, and tentative tones that afflict most academic writing. The authors seem to be part of an academic community and seek to retain membership by being minimally offensive. Who can fault them? However, this leads to excessively conventional thinking, a disappointing near-term focus, and no real discussion of the morality of hyper-intelligent robots.

If you want a good survey of current thinking on this topic, mundane as this thinking is, this book is a fine choice.
Read more ›
Comment 7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Allen and Wallach's Moral Machines is the best text yet in the rapidly expanding field of robot ethics - and their work offers insight into the morals of not only robots, but ourselves as well.

Wallach and Allen examine the strengths and limitations of traditional approaches to ethics, such as deontology and utilitarianism, and the issues that arise in attempting a top-down programming of such rules into a robot. But the history of ethics is replete with controversy over the adequacy of any proposed set of rules - for instance, it might seem logical to switch the track of a runaway trolley that would kill five workers, even if it would thereby kill one person on the other track - switching maximizes utility. But should a doctor then harvest organs from a patient in for a checkup to save five people in the next room needing transplants?

So what should a robot do? An alternative is to attempt a 'bottom up' approach, and teach ethics to robots by trial and error, as we do children. The authors argue that this approach has both technical and rational limitations as well; principles are especially useful in resolving the difficult moral situations we call moral dilemmas. So they argue that a hybrid approach is probably best, and discuss in thought-provoking ways whether robots would need emotions, and how human-like we should desire these robotic agents to be.

Wallach and Allen convincingly argue that even if full moral agency for machines is a long way off, it is already necessary to start instilling into robots a type of functional morality, as robots are already engaged in high-risk situations and are already equipped with lethal weapons (e.g., the Predator drones now flying in Pakistan).
Read more ›
Comment 5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
From a philosophical writer's point of view, this is one of the best-written books I've ever read. And that deserves emphasis. The writers' ingenuity in connecting the thought frameworks from networks of major concepts to another network of major concepts, and from one minor concept, and connecting to the next, or returning to a previous example, is really profound and unusual. I'm tempted to say that this book passes as poetry.

Additionally, I made copious notes and breezed through the book in less than a week. So, as non-fiction goes, yes its readable. It's also more intelligent than the average philosophy book in terms of the brilliance of interpretation and the potential to find "juicy details". Although it is not brilliant everywhere (and few books are, outside of Confucius, the Buddha, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, and perhaps Erasmus), there are reflections of brilliant thoughts on nearly every page.

Students of philosophy with an interest in entities, interfaces, and social science conundrums will love this book. I agree with the other reviewers that the significant bibliographic material is a major enhancement of the experience.
Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although this book is accessible to a popular audience, it has obvious academic merit. The authors thoroughly search-out all perspectives in this new field (i.e. it has a huge bibliography) and treat each perspective with skillful fairness. It both establishes itself as the authoritative reference, framing the issues for the new field of machine ethics, and establishes the credibility of the field as an academic pursuit. Good libraries ought to have this book.

This book was not intended as an introduction to ethics, but it is the book I would be inclined to assign as an ethics textbook. It covers an introduction to ethics, of course, but also covers material in related disciplines (psychology, economics, etc.), and gets technical about where our society assumes ethical faculties. It forces the reader to think about how ethics work, rather than just express opinions about contemporary moral issues, and is probably the very best book in existence for giving readers an appreciation for the ways the field of ethics will have to grow in the near future.
Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong
This item: Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong
Price: $38.95
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: robotics