Tuesday, June 26, 2018

“artificial moral agents” (AMAs) & moral judgment

“ … [I]t is quite conceivable that an artificial agent [like a robot] might display moral judgment without utilizing the same cognitive or affective tools a human agent would apply.” — Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen, Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong (Oxford University Press, 2009)
Hmmm. My understanding of what moral judgment means and entails comes solely from (i.e., is absolutely dependent upon my prior understanding of) how human beings have used and understood same. In other words, how could an “artificial moral agent” (AMA) exercise moral judgment sans the cognitive and affective powers used by human beings in making moral judgments. The claim makes no sense to me: it seems not only implausible but absurd. Yes?—unless one wants to reply that it’s “conceivable” solely in terms of the imagination, or a dream, or science fiction ….

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