The principle of double effect applied to ethical dilemmas of social robots

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    Abstract

    The introduction of social robots into society will require that they follow
    ethical principles which go beyond consequentialism. In this paper, I show how to apply the principle of double effect to solve an ethical dilemma involving robots studied by Alan Winfield and colleagues. The principle of double effect states conditions for ethically acceptable behavior when there are both positive and negative consequences of an action. I propose a formal semantics with actions, causes, intentions, and utilities based upon the work of Judea Pearl, John Horty, and others. With this formal semantics, the question of whether an action is permitted according to the principle of double effect is reduced to deciding whether a certain formula is true or otherwise.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of Robophilosophy 2016/TRANSOR 2016
    Number of pages12
    PublisherIOS Press
    Publication date2016
    Pages268-279
    ISBN (Print)9781614997078
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventInternational Research Conference Robophilosophy 2016 / TRANSOR 2016 - Aarhus, Denmark
    Duration: 17 Oct 201621 Oct 2016

    Conference

    ConferenceInternational Research Conference Robophilosophy 2016 / TRANSOR 2016
    Country/TerritoryDenmark
    CityAarhus
    Period17/10/201621/10/2016
    SeriesFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
    Volume290
    ISSN0922-6389

    Keywords

    • Robot ethics
    • The principle of double effect
    • Formal Semantics
    • Logic

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