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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Can Machines Become Moral?

Don Howard
Big Questions Online
Originally published October 23, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

There is an important lesson here, which applies with equal force to the claim that robots cannot comprehend emotion. It is that what can or cannot be done in the domain of artificial intelligence is always an empirical question, the answer to which will have to await the results of further research and development. Confident a priori assertions about what science and engineering cannot achieve have a history of turning out to be wrong, as with Auguste Comte’s bold claim in the 1830s that science could never reveal the internal chemical constitution of the sun and other heavenly bodies, a claim he made at just the time when scientists like Fraunhofer, Foucault, Kirchhoff, and Bunsen were pioneering the use of spectrographic analysis for precisely that task.

The article is here.