The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.
I am pleased to announce that our edited volume Robot Ethics: The Social and Ethical Implications of Robotics has now been released by MIT Press.
The preface and table of contents are below (incl. link to Ryan Calo's chapter on privacy):
“Nothing is stranger to man but his own image.”
– Karel Čapek in Rossum’s Universal Robots (1921)
Here's a preview of my forthcoming paper on robot ethics (with co-authors Keith Abney and George Bekey) in Artificial Intelligence journal, one of the best in its field.
"“We can't cherry-pick the costs or savings to focus on,” says Patrick Lin, director of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group at California Polytechnic State University. Instead, he says,to fairly examine the ethics involved, we should consider impacts both on the individual and society level. “Yes, healthier people may mean lower health costs and more productivity, but that's a partial picture at best.
"Gerdes has been working with a philosophy professor, Patrick Lin, to make ethical thinking a key part of his team’s design process. Lin, who teaches at Cal Poly, spent a year working in Gerdes’s lab and has given talks to Google, Tesla, and others about the ethics of automating cars. The trolley problem is usually one of the first examples he uses to show that not all questions can be solved simply through developing more sophisticated engineering.
“Even if it’s a rare problem, autonomous car manufacturers still need to specify some action [in the event of an unavoidable crash], and the wrong one could lead to massive lawsuits and alarmist headlines,” says Patrick Lin, director of the ethics and emerging sciences group at California Polytechnic State University.
"The idea that technology is neutral or amoral is a myth that needs to be dispelled. The designer can imbue ethics into the creation, even if the artifact has no moral agency itself. This feature may be too subtle to notice in most cases, but some technologies are born from evil and don't have redeeming uses, e.g., gas chambers and any device here. And even without that point (whether technology can be intrinsically good or bad), everyone agrees that most technologies can have both good and bad uses.
"But, wait. We should also factor in the many more lives that would be spared. A good consequentialist would look at this bigger picture and argue that as long as there’s a net savings of lives (in our case, 16,000 per year) we have a positive, ethical result. And that judgment is consistent with reactions reported by Stanford Law’s Bryant Walker Smith who posed a similar dilemma and found that his audiences remain largely unconcerned when the number of people saved is greater than the number of different lives killed."
SCOTT SIMON, HOST: