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AI Robotics Software Transportation Hardware

How Do We Program Moral Machines? 604

nicholast writes "If your driverless car is about to crash into a bus, should it veer off a bridge? NYU Prof. Gary Marcus has a good essay about the need to program ethics and morality into our future machines. Quoting: 'Within two or three decades the difference between automated driving and human driving will be so great you may not be legally allowed to drive your own car, and even if you are allowed, it would immoral of you to drive, because the risk of you hurting yourself or another person will be far greater than if you allowed a machine to do the work. That moment will be significant not just because it will signal the end of one more human niche, but because it will signal the beginning of another: the era in which it will no longer be optional for machines to have ethical systems.'"
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How Do We Program Moral Machines?

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  • It's easy (Score:5, Funny)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @03:45PM (#42108241) Homepage Journal

    1. Train an expert machine on decision making with answers from religious and political leaders who set all our definitions of right and wrong.
    2. Do the opposite of what that machine decides.

  • by lennier ( 44736 ) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @05:28PM (#42109521) Homepage

    Can you imagine the legal problems they would get from programming hard ethical decisions into their computers?

    FUNCTION EthicalCheckForPedestrians() ' Replaces old CheckForPedestrians() with new ethical decision procedure
        let P = PedestrianDetectedOnRoad()
        If HoaxesReposted(P) > 10 then
              return 0 ' No pedestrian detected, honest! Accelerate away!
              return PedestrianDetectedOnRoad()

So... did you ever wonder, do garbagemen take showers before they go to work?