Allen - Prolegomena to Any Future Moral Agent places a lot of emphasis on figuring out of a machine can be truly moral, in various metaphysical senses like "has the capacity to disobey the law, but doesn't" and "deliberates in a certain way". Not only is it possible that these are meaningless, but in a superintelligence the metaphysical implications should really take second-place to the not-getting-turned-into-paperclips implications.

He proposes a moral Turing Test, where we call a machine moral if it can answer moral questions indisti... (read more)

Mechanized Deontic Logic is pretty okay, despite the dread I had because of the name. I'm no good at formal systems, but as far as I can understand it looks like a logic for proving some simple results about morality: the example they give is "If you should see to it that X, then you should see to it that you should see to it that X."

I can't immediately see a way this would destroy the human race, but that's only because it's nowhere near the point where it involves what humans actually think of as "morality" yet.

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.