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ekorn's picture

Robots and the question of ethics...

I was online recently and stumbled across this article which I believe interesting and pertinent (especially for those of us in Anne’s last section before the break). The article touches on the notion of ethics or morality, which we discussed and which Dennett devoted an entire section to in the later half of his book. Also the article somewhat deals with the notion that machine is expected to be infallible and therefore cannot be intelligent (see quote on p.428). It seems to me after reading this article that ethics may not necessarily be inherent in our nature, more so that we must be taught them, much like the robots in the article. Also, the fact that robots can learn to react implies some understanding of what is appropriate or not on an ethical basis. Based on this it seems as though soon enough technology may reveal a robot that can learn from these reactions, if this one already does not (it didn’t seem clear to me whether or not this was established within the article or not). In any case, it seems to suggest that maybe the robots have some artificial intelligence and can learn from their mistakes. Just some thoughts lingering from the week before the break… <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/03/070316-robot-ethics.html>

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