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Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics (Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series) Hardcover – December 9, 2011


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Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics (Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series) + Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots + Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong
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Product Details

  • Series: Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (December 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262016664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262016667
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,381,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The book is an excellent primer on ethics and philosophy. It is definitely accessible to an undergraduate student--perhaps in the context of an undergraduate engineering ethics course. It is also a valuable reference for roboticists, providing an awareness of the social concerns related to their research." -- R. S. Stansbury, Choice

About the Author

Patrick Lin is a philosopher and Director of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group, based at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Keith Abney is a philosopher of science and Senior Lecturer at California Polytechnic State University.

George A. Bekey is Professor Emeritus in Computer Science at University of Southern California and Distinguished Professor of Engineering at California Polytechnic State University.

Customer Reviews

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It would also work well as a text book in an ethics class.
James Carmine
This book covers several - medical, war, care, social, as well as some theoretical work.
Noel West
It is surprisingly easy to read; only a couple of chapters come across as a little dry.
Bo Sanden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bo Sanden on October 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wouldn't be aware of this book had I not served as a reader on a dissertation in the area of robot ethics. To an non-expert in the immediate field it provides what well-rounded coverage. It is surprisingly easy to read; only a couple of chapters come across as a little dry. As I went through it, I noted Blay Whitby's Chapter 15 as particularly strong; Steve Petersen's Chapter 18 as quite brilliant; Rob Sparrow's Chapter 19 as particularly interesting philosophically; and Anthony Beavers's Chapter 21 as a great discussion of whether it will be sufficient for robots merely to perform as thinking and caring entities while actually being neither in any real sense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Courtney on August 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Although this collection of chapters by disparate authors does give a flavor of the current state of thinking about robot ethics, it requires an unnecessarily intense effort by the reader. You will repeatedly slog through diagrams or technical jargon, only to realized that this was completely unnecessary to make the chapter's simple and usually obvious points. This is not the case for all of the chapters, but it is for enough of them to quickly become annoying. Also, to be frank, Robot Ethics, while still worth buying, contains too many chapters that would be uninteresting to anyone who already takes the Strong AI Hypothesis (that robots can become as intelligent and conscious as humans) for granted.
I believe, however, that this book would excel as a primer for research students who need to acquire a sense of what is and isn't publishable in the embryonic field of robot ethics.

If you're not a student, and you're merely looking for a survey on current thinking on robot morality, you might be better served by starting with Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong by Wallach and Allen (who wrote Chapter 4 of Robot Ethics). They champion a bottom-up (i.e. training) approach to instilling ethics in robots. Or, for a top-down approach, try the considerately succinct Robot Nation: Surviving the Greatest Socio-Economic Upheaval of All Time by Neilson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Carmine on March 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book actually changed my view of whether or not robots will some day become thinking machines and, more interestingly, regardless whether or not they actually do care about us whether we should treat them with some modicum of respect as if they did. If you want to begin to think seriously about Robot Ethics, this is the perfect place to begin. It would also work well as a text book in an ethics class.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was devastated when my copy of this book was misplaced on a flight and the airline was unable to locate it for me. This collection of essays is perfect for beginning to look into some of the ethical dilemmas that we face right now in regards to emerging and future technologies, especially in regards to machine learning-abled robotics in a variety of fields. This book covers several - medical, war, care, social, as well as some theoretical work.
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More About the Author

Keith Abney was educated at Emory University, Fuller Seminary, and the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include the ethics of autonomous military robots, the ethics of human enhancement, space ethics, and other topics in the ethics and metaethics of emerging technologies. He has served on a hospital bioethics board and in his spare time enjoys being an amateur winemaker. He is co-editor (with George Bekey and Patrick Lin) of the forthcoming book "Robot Ethics" (MIT Press, 2011).