Philosophy and the Politics of Moral Machines
Paul Dumouchel, Philosophy and the Politics of Moral Machines, 2019, Journal of Artificial Intelligence Humanities, Vol 4, 31-50. Université Chung-Ang de Seoul
A recent large-scale survey, “The Moral Machine experiment” (2018) aggregated 39.61 million decisions across 233 countries and territories reflecting people’s preferences as to who should be spared in fatal moral dilemmas involving autonomous road vehicles. The experiment collected ‘big data’ to reach conclusions concerning the moral rules that should be implemented in these vehicles. In this paper, first I question the philosophical presuppositions of the experiment, arguing that it has very little to do with ethics or moral norms, but essentially constitutes a market survey concerning the social acceptance of a dangerous technology. Then, I criticize the myth of moral machines and the illusion that abandoning to automated systems the power to ‘autonomously’ take lethal ‘decisions’ is a radically new phenomenon. Finally, I suggest a different solution to the difficulties addressed by the Moral Machine experiment and make political and legal suggestions concerning policy towards ‘autonomous road vehicles’.
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