Proceedings of the IEEE Addresses Machine Ethics

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A recent issue of Proceedings of the IEEE entitled Machine Ethics: The Design and Governance of Ethical AI and Autonomous Systems represents a useful and informative resource for stakeholders in the “fourth industrial revolution”— characterized as the convergence of robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous and intelligent systems (A/IS), and information technology. The growing international debate around ethics as it relates to robotics and A/IS has moved beyond engineering and academia and has become of greater importance from both a political and public stance. In order to engage a broader audience, Proceedings of IEEE has tapped into leading experts to assemble a special issue focused entirely on the ethics of intelligent autonomous systems.

“IEEE has been at the forefront of prioritizing ethical concerns in the development of new autonomous and intelligent systems,” said Raja Chatila, chair, The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics and Autonomous and Intelligent Systems. “I would urge stakeholders in these technologies, as well as all interested parties, to peruse this special issue on machine ethics in order to inform themselves on the latest trends and activities taking place in the space and to get an expanded view on the importance of pursuing ethics in technology development.”

This special issue tackles key aspects of machine ethics and explores ways that autonomous systems can include ethical values in their construct. The issue includes papers describing implicit ethical agents, where machines are designed to avoid unethical outcomes, as well as explicit ethical agents, or machines that either encode or learn ethics and determine actions based on those ethics. A sampling of papers is below:

Designing a Value-Driven Future for Ethical Autonomous and Intelligent Systems
An overview of IEEE’s current activities related to ethics and argues that human values must drive our future autonomous systems in a way that both protects and benefits humanity.

On Proactive, Transparent, and Verifiable Ethical Reasoning for Robots
Provides a case study on implementing ethical machine reasoning, so that robotic systems are capable of taking into account human ethical values during the decision-making process.

A Value-Driven Eldercare Robot: Virtual and Physical Instantiations of a Case-Supported Principle-Based Behavior Paradigm
Describes both simulated and real-robot implementations of an eldercare robot in which ethical principles are learned, via inductive logical programming, from a set of training examples provided by a project ethicist.

For a detailed exploration of the issues addressed in the special issue, please visit Machine Ethics: The Design and Governance of Ethical AI and Autonomous Systems.

Learn more about Proceedings of the IEEE by visiting the publication’s home page.