Books  |    |  January 23, 2020

Machine Ethics: From Machine Morals to the Machinery of Morality

Book by Luís Moniz Pereira and António Barata Lopes.
Published by Springer.
164 pages.

This book offers the first systematic guide to machine ethics, bridging between computer science, social sciences and philosophy. Based on a dialogue between an AI scientist and a novelist philosopher, the book discusses important findings on which moral values machines can be taught and how. In turn, it investigates what kind of artificial intelligence (AI) people do actually want.

What are the main consequences of the integration of AI in people’s every-day life? In order to co-exist and collaborate with humans, machines need morality, but which moral values should we teach them? Moreover, how can we implement benevolent AI? These are just some of the questions carefully examined in the book, which offers a comprehensive account of ethical issues concerning AI, on the one hand, and a timely snapshot of the power and potential benefits of this technology on the other. Starting with an introduction to common-sense ethical principles, the book then guides the reader, helping them develop and understand more complex ethical concerns and placing them in a larger, technological context. The book makes these topics accessible to a non-expert audience, while also offering alternative reading pathways to inspire more specialized readers.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction and Synopsis
  • Artificial Intelligence, Machine Autonomy and Emerging Needs
  • Intelligence: From Natural to Artificial
  • Intelligence and Autonomy in Artificial Agents
  • Cognition in Context: An Evolutionary Logic Impacting Our Individual and Collective Worlds
  • Being and Appearance, or the Omnipresence of Algorithms
  • A Question of Epistemological Nature: Are There Limits to AI Enabled Knowledge?
  • Breaking Barriers: Symbiotic Processes
  • A Complex Cognitive Ecosystem: Humans and Beings of a Different Nature
  • About the End of the World, at Least as We Know It
  • Cognition with or Without Emotions?
  • Is It Possible to Program Artificial Emotions? A Basis for Behaviours with Moral Connotation?
  • After All… What is a Machine?
  • Cognitive Prerequisites: The Special Case of Counterfactual Reasoning
  • Aside on Children and Youths, on Identity Construction in the Digital World
  • To Grant Decision-Making to Machines? Who Can and Should Apologize?
  • Employing AI for Better Understanding Our Morals
  • Mutant Algorithms and Super Intelligences
  • Who Controls What?
  • A New Opportunity, or the Everlasting Unresolved Problem?

About the Authors

  • Luís Moniz Pereira is Emeritus Professor of Computer Science at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), Portugal. He is a member of the NOVA Laboratory for Computer Science and Informatics (NOVA-LINCS) of the Informatics Department. 
  • António Lopes has a Licentiate’s degree in Philosophy from the Portuguese Catholic University, and a Master in the same area from the Nova University of Lisbon. He is a philosophy teacher at the Anselmo de Andrade High School, where he is Coordinator of the Department of Social and Human Sciences. He published the novels Como se Fosse a Última Vez (As If It Were the Last Time) and O Vale da Tentação (The Valley of Temptation).