I don't disagree with much of anything you've said here, by the way.

Remember that I'm writing a book that, for most of its length, will systematically explain why the proposed solutions in the literature won't work.

The problem is that SIAI is not even engaging in that discussion. Where is the detailed explanation of why these proposed solutions won't work? I don't get the impression someone like Yudkowsky has even read these papers, let alone explained why the proposed solutions won't work. SIAI is just talking a different language than the professional ma... (read more)

My sentiment about the role of engaging existing literature on machine ethics is analogous to what you describe in a recent post on your blog. Particularly this:

Oh God, you think. That’s where the level of discussion is, on this planet.

You either push the boundaries, or fight the good fight. And the good fight is best fought by writing textbooks and opening schools, not by public debates with distinguished shamans. But it's not entirely fair, since some of machine ethics addresses a reasonable problem of making good-behaving robots, which just happens ... (read more)

A Brief Overview of Machine Ethics

by lukeprog 1 min read5th Mar 201191 comments


Earlier, I lamented that even though Eliezer named scholarship as one of the Twelve Virtues of Rationality, there is surprisingly little interest in (or citing of) the academic literature on some of Less Wrong's central discussion topics.

Previously, I provided an overview of formal epistemology, that field of philosophy that deals with (1) mathematically formalizing concepts related to induction, belief, choice, and action, and (2) arguing about the foundations of probability, statistics, game theory, decision theory, and algorithmic learning theory.

Now, I've written Machine Ethics is the Future, an introduction to machine ethics, the academic field that studies the problem of how to design artificial moral agents that act ethically (along with a few related problems). There, you will find PDFs of a dozen papers on the subject.