Schlagworte: Moral Machines

Towards a Proxy Morality

Machine ethics produces moral and immoral machines. The morality is usually fixed, e.g. by programmed meta-rules and rules. The machine is thus capable of certain actions, not others. However, another approach is the morality menu (MOME for short). With this, the owner or user transfers his or her own morality onto the machine. The machine behaves in the same way as he or she would behave, in detail. Together with his teams, Prof. Dr. Oliver Bendel developed several artifacts of machine ethics at his university from 2013 to 2018. For one of them, he designed a morality menu that has not yet been implemented. Another concept exists for a virtual assistant that can make reservations and orders for its owner more or less independently. In the article „The Morality Menu“ the author introduces the idea of the morality menu in the context of two concrete machines. Then he discusses advantages and disadvantages and presents possibilities for improvement. A morality menu can be a valuable extension for certain moral machines. You can download the article here.

Fig.: A proxy machine

Moralische Maschinen mit maschinellem Lernen

Michael und Susan Leigh Anderson stellen beim Berliner Kolloquium 2019 ihre neuesten Ergebnisse aus der Disziplin der Maschinenethik vor. Üblicherweise werden sogenannten moralischen Maschinen starre Regeln gegeben, an die sie sich sozusagen sklavisch halten. Dies hat einige Vorteile, aber auch ein paar Nachteile, denen man mit Hilfe von maschinellem Lernen entgegentreten kann. Genau diesen Ansatz haben die Andersons zusammen mit einem Forscher vom Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme verfolgt, wobei die Altenpflege als Kontext diente: „Contrary to those who regard such a goal as unattainable, Michael and Susan Leigh Anderson … and Vincent Berenz … have succeeded in programming a SoftBank Nao robot with a set of values that determines its behavior while aiding a person in a simulated eldercare environment. This unprecedented accomplishment uses machine learning to enable the robot to discern how each of its actions would satisfy or violate its ethical duties in the current situation and decide the best action to take.“ (Machine Ethics) Die Ergebnisse werden 2019 in den Proceedings of the IEEE publiziert. Der wissenschaftliche Leiter des 23. Berliner Kolloquiums zu Pflegerobotern ist Oliver Bendel. Die Anmeldung erfolgt über die Website der Daimler und Benz Stiftung.

Abb.: Ein Nao-Roboter (Foto: SoftBank/Philippe Dureuil, CC-BY-SA-4.0)

Symposium in Helsinki on Moral Machines

„Moral Machines? The Ethics and Politics of the Digital World“ is a symposium organized by two research fellows, Susanna Lindberg and Hanna-Riikka Roine at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. „The aim of the symposium is to bring together researchers from all fields addressing the many issues and problems of the digitalization of our social reality, such as thinking in the digital world, the morality and ethics of machines, and the ways of controlling and manipulating the digital world.“ (Website Symposium) The symposium will take place in Helsinki from 6 to 8 March 2019. It welcomes contributions addressing the various aspects of the contemporary digital world. The organizers are especially interested „in the idea that despite everything they can do, the machines do not really think, at least not like us“. „So, what is thinking in the digital world? How does the digital machine ‚think‘?“ (Website Symposium) Proposals can be sent to the e-mail address by 31 August 2018. Decisions will be made by 31 October 2018. Further information is available on

Buch „Programming Machine Ethics“

Luís Moniz Pereira und Ari Saptawijaya haben ein Buch geschrieben, das den Titel „Programming Machine Ethics“ trägt. Die relativ junge Disziplin der Maschinenethik wird damit um ein weiteres Grundlagenwerk bereichert. Als Gestaltungsdisziplin ist sie darauf angewiesen, dass konkrete Vorschläge für die Umsetzung unterbreitet werden, in ihrem Falle der Umsetzung moralischer Maschinen. In der Information von Springer heißt es: „This book addresses the fundamentals of machine ethics. It discusses abilities required for ethical machine reasoning and the programming features that enable them. It connects ethics, psychological ethical processes, and machine implemented procedures. From a technical point of view, the book uses logic programming and evolutionary game theory to model and link the individual and collective moral realms. It also reports on the results of experiments performed using several model implementations.“ (Information Springer) Weiter wird erklärt: „Opening specific and promising inroads into the terra incognita of machine ethics, the authors define here new tools and describe a variety of program-tested moral applications and implemented systems. In addition, they provide alternative readings paths, allowing readers to best focus on their specific interests and to explore the concepts at different levels of detail.“ (Information Springer) Weitere Informationen und Bestellung über


Abb.: Grace Hopper aka Grandma COBOL

Rethinking Machine Ethics

2015 ist das Buch „Rethinking Machine Ethics in the Age of Ubiquitous Technology“ von Jeffrey White (Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, KAIST, Südkorea) und Rick Searle (IEET, USA) erschienen. Zum Buch schreibt der Verlag Information Science Reference: „Rethinking Machine Ethics in the Age of Ubiquitous Technology blends forward-looking, constructive, and interdisciplinary visions of ethical ideals, aims, and applications of machine technology. This visionary reference work incorporates ethical conversations in the fields of technology, computer science, robotics, and the medical industry, creating a vibrant dialogue between philosophical ideals and the applied sciences. With its broad scope of relevant topics, this book serves as an excellent tool for policymakers, academicians, researchers, advanced-level students, technology developers, and government officials.“ Zu den Themen wird gesagt: „This timely publication features thoroughly researched articles on the topics of artificial moral agency, cyber-warfare, transhumanism, organic neural nets, human worker replacement, automaticity and global governance, security and surveillance, military drones, and more.“ Das Werk hat um die 330 Seiten und kostet ca. 225 Euro.

Ethical Machines

Eine neue Plattform,, will regelmäßig Podcasts über Menschen, Maschinen und Ethik veröffentlichen. Die Betreiber sind Samim Winiger und Roelof Pieters. Der eine, ursprünglich aus der Schweiz, wohnt in Berlin und twittert über @samim, der andere, Doktorand in Stockholm, über @graphific. Sie schreiben auf ihrer Website: „Ethics is the branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. Machine Ethics is concerned with the moral behavior of artifical intelligent systems and its humans creators, as they design, construct, use and treat such technologies.“ Es geht also um die Maschinenethik, und es geht um ihren Gegenstand, die Moral von Maschinen. Man darf gespannt sein, was die beiden Betreiber zur jungen Disziplin und zur Entwicklung neuartiger Roboter und Geräte beitragen werden.