Engineering an artificial intelligence to play an advisory role in morally charged decision making will inevitably introduce meta-ethical positions into the design. Some of these positions, by informing the design and operation of the AI, will introduce risks. This paper offers an analysis of these potential risks along the realism/anti-realism dimension in metaethics and reveals that realism poses greater risks, but, on the other hand, anti-realism undermines the motivation for engineering a moral AI in the first place.
Predictions about autonomous weapon systems (AWS) are typically thought to channel fears that drove all the myths about intelligence embodied in matter. One of these is the idea that the technology can get out of control and ultimately lead to horrific consequences, as is the case in Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein. Given this, predictions about AWS are sometimes dismissed as science-fiction fear-mongering. This paper considers several analogies between AWS and other weapon systems and ultimately offers an argument that nuclear weapons (...) and their effect on the development of modern asymmetrical warfare are the best analogy to the introduction of AWS. The final section focuses on this analogy and offers speculations about the likely consequences of AWS being hacked. These speculations tacitly draw on myths and tropes about technology and AI from popular fiction, such as Frankenstein, to project a convincing model of the risks and benefits of AWS deployment. (shrink)
This paper critically assesses the possibility of moral enhancement with ambient intelligence technologies and artiﬁcial intelligence presented in Savulescu and Maslen (2015). The main problem with their proposal is that it is not robust enough to play a normative role in users’ behavior. A more promising approach, and the one presented in the paper, relies on an artiﬁ-cial moral reasoning engine, which is designed to present its users with moral arguments grounded in ﬁrst-order normative theories, such as Kantianism or utilitarianism, (...) that reason-responsive people can be persuaded by. This proposal can play a normative role and it is also a more promising avenue towards moral enhancement. It is more promising because such a system can be designed to take advantage of the sometimes undue trust that people put in automated technologies. We could therefore expect a well-designed moral reasoner system to be able to persuade people that may not be persuaded by similar arguments from other people. So, all things considered, there is hope in artiﬁcial intelli-gence for moral enhancement, but not in artiﬁcial intelligence that relies solely on ambient intelligence technologies. (shrink)
Unlike human soldiers, autonomous weapons systems are unaffected by psychological factors that would cause them to act outside the chain of command. This is a compelling moral justification for their development and eventual deployment in war. To achieve this level of sophistication, the software that runs AWS will have to first solve two problems: the frame problem and the representation problem. Solutions to these problems will inevitably involve complex software. Complex software will create security risks and will make AWS critically (...) vulnerable to hacking. I claim that the political and tactical consequences of hacked AWS far outweigh the purported advantages of AWS not being affected by psychological factors and always following orders. Therefore, one of the moral justifications for the deployment of AWS is undermined. (shrink)
This article presents an argument for the view that we can perceive temporal features without awareness. Evidence for this claim comes from recent empirical work on selective visual attention. An interpretation of selective attention as a mechanism that processes high-level perceptual features is offered and defended against one particular objection. In conclusion, time perception likely has an unconscious dimension and temporal mental qualities can be instantiated without ever being conscious.
In this paper, I offer an account of the dependence relation between perception of change and the subjective flow of time that is consistent with some extant empirical evidence from priming by unconscious change. This view is inspired by the one offered by William James, but it is articulated in the framework of contemporary functionalist accounts of mental qualities and higher-order theories of consciousness. An additional advantage of this account of the relationship between perception of change and subjective time is (...) that is makes sense of instances where we are not consciously aware of changes but still experience the flow of time. (shrink)
It is not clear to what the projects of creating an artificial intelligence (AI) that does ethics, is moral, or makes moral judgments amounts. In this paper we discuss some of the extant metaethical theories and debates in moral philosophy by which such projects should be informed, specifically focusing on the project of creating an AI that makes moral judgments. We argue that the scope and aims of that project depend a great deal on antecedent metaethical commitments. Metaethics, therefore, plays (...) the role of an Archimedean fulcrum in this context, very much like the Archimedean role that it is often taken to take in context of normative ethics (Dworkin 1996; Dreier 2002; Fantl 2006; Ehrenberg 2008). (shrink)
Quality Space Theory is a holistic model of qualitative states. On this view, individual mental qualities are defined by their locations in a space of relations, which reflects a similar space of relations among perceptible properties. This paper offers an extension of Quality Space Theory to temporal perception. Unconscious segmentation of events, the involvement of early sensory areas, and asymmetries of dominance in multi-modal perception of time are presented as evidence for the view.
Programming computers to engage in moral reasoning is not a new idea (Anderson and Anderson 2011a). Work on the subject has yielded concrete examples of computable linguistic structures for a moral grammar (Mikhail 2007), the ethical governor architecture for autonomous weapon systems (Arkin 2009), rule-based systems that implement deontological principles (Anderson and Anderson 2011b), systems that implement utilitarian principles, and a hybrid approach to programming ethical machines (Wallach and Allen 2008). This chapter considers two philosophically informed strategies for engineering software (...) that can engage in moral reasoning: algorithms based on philosophical moral theories and analogical reasoning from standard cases.1 Based on the challenges presented to the algorithmic approach, I argue that a combination of these two strategies holds the most promise and show concrete examples of how such an architecture could be built using contemporary engineering techniques. (shrink)
In my dissertation I critically survey existing theories of time consciousness, and draw on recent work in neuroscience and philosophy to develop an original theory. My view depends on a novel account of temporal perception based on the notion of temporal qualities, which are mental properties that are instantiated whenever we detect change in the environment. When we become aware of these temporal qualities in an appropriate way, our conscious experience will feature the distinct temporal phenomenology that is associated with (...) the passing of time. The temporal qualities model of perception makes two predictions about the mechanisms of time perception; one that time perception is modality specific and the other that it can occur without awareness. My argument for this view partially depends on a number of psychophysical experiments that I designed and implemented myself and which investigate subjective time distortions caused by looming visual stimuli. These results show that the mechanisms of conscious experience of time are distinct from the mechanisms of time perception, as my theory of temporal qualities predicts. (shrink)
This paper offers a theoretical framework that can be used to derive viable engineering strategies for the design and development of robots that can nudge people towards moral improvement. The framework relies on research in developmental psychology and insights from Stoic ethics. Stoicism recommends contemplative practices that over time help one develop dispositions to behave in ways that improve the functioning of mechanisms that are constitutive of moral cognition. Robots can nudge individuals towards these practices and can therefore help develop (...) the dispositions to, for example, extend concern to others, avoid parochialism, etc. (shrink)
Advocates of moral enhancement through pharmacological, genetic, or other direct interventions sometimes explicitly argue, or assume without argument, that traditional moral education and development is insufficient to bring about moral enhancement. Traditional moral education grounded in a Kohlbergian theory of moral development is indeed unsuitable for that task; however, the psychology of moral development and education has come a long way since then. Recent studies support the view that moral cognition is a higher-order process, unified at a functional level, and (...) that a specific moral faculty does not exist. It is more likely that moral cognition involves a number of different mechanisms, each connected to other cognitive and affective processes. Taking this evidence into account, we propose a novel, empirically informed approach to moral development and education, in children and adults, which is based on a cognitive-affective approach to moral dispositions. This is an interpretative approach that derives from the cognitive-affective personality system (Mischel and Shoda, 1995). This conception individuates moral dispositions by reference to the cognitive and affective processes that realise them. Conceived of in this way, moral dispositions influence an agent's behaviour when they interact with situational factors, such as mood or social context. Understanding moral dispositions in this way lays the groundwork for proposing a range of indirect methods of moral enhancement, techniques that promise similar results as direct interventions whilst posing fewer risks. (shrink)
The paper regards sponsorship as an agreement, in which the sponsor undertakes an action with economic nature for the sake of a sponsored subject. Typical cases related to unethical conduct of sponsors and subjects are described, as well as some social contexts of sponsorship and its influence on the public opinion.
This is the first volume in a new, definitive, seven-volume edition of the works of Michal Kalecki, one of the twentieth century's most distinguished economists. Kalecki was one of the three contemporary economists to arrive at the conclusions publicized by Keynes, although Kalecki arguably presented these views even earlier than Keynes. Volume I contains Kalecki's writings on the theory of the business cycle and full employment. His seminal Essay on the Business Cycle Theory is preceded by his earlier theoretical studies (...) and followed by publications which developed and defended its main concepts and ideas. This volume also contains the 1939 book Essays in the Theory of Economic Fluctuations, the work which established his reputation. Also included are papers documenting his confrontation with Keynes's General Theory, including Kalecki's review of that work, and his various studies on the theory and policies relating to full employment, both the well known `Political Aspects of Full Employment' and `Three Ways to Full Employment', and those which have unfairly received less attention. The editorial comments and annexes at the end of the volume, besides giving valuable information on the background to the main texts, include illuminating exchanges of correspondence between Kalecki and Keynes, Joan Robinson, and others. (shrink)
The seventh volume of the Collected Works of Michal Kalecki, one of the twentieth century's preeminent economists, contains his empirical studies of the wartime and post-war economy in Britain and the USA, together with papers on the work of other economists and miscellanea.The first part of the book collects together his articles on the economic conditions of Britain during the Second World War, focusing on the rationing of consumption and war finance, and its post-war reconstructions. These articles are among Kalecki's (...) best known, and contributed significantly to his world renown as an economist. Part two contains studies of post-war America, comparing the economy with the situation before the War. Part three contains a group of articles under the title `Political economy and economists', and includes book reviews and essays on the study of economics. Part four collects essays on a variety of topics, including Polish economic planning, construction engineering, and the theory of numbers. As in previous volumes, editorial notes and annexes by Professor Osiaty'nski provide invaluable background information and explanatory glosses on the main text. Among other things, they reveal details of Kalecki's work for the United Nations.Since this is the final volume of the Collected Works, it concludes with a chronology of biographical information and a complete bibliography of Kalecki's writings from 1927 to 1987. (shrink)
In this brief article we reply to Michal Piekarski’s response to our article ‘Facing Animals’ published previously in this journal. In our article we criticized the properties approach to defining the moral standing of animals, and in its place proposed a relational and other-oriented concept that is based on a transcendental and phenomenological perspective, mainly inspired by Heidegger, Levinas, and Derrida. In this reply we question and problematize Piekarski’s interpretation of our essay and critically evaluate “the ethics of commitment” that (...) he offers as an alternative. (shrink)
The seven volumes will comprise the definitive scholarly edition of the works of Micha/l Kalecki, one of the most distinguished of twentieth-century economists and one of the trio who arrived at the conclusions promulgated by Keynes around the same time as - and in Kalecki's case, arguably earlier than - Keynes himself. Nearly half the material to appear in the seven volumes has never been previously published in English and includes revisions and additions made in the light of recent research, (...) including information about the relationship of Kalecki's ideas to the ideas of contemporary economic theory. This volume deals with the capitalist economy and contains Kalecki's studies on the theory of income distribution in oligopolistic capitalism and on its economic dynamics. Each part of the book consists of essays devoted to a similar topic and individual papers in each part are arranged in chronological order. The editorial comments and annexes at the end of the volume, besides giving valuable information on the background to the main texts, include illuminating exchanges of correspondence between Kalecki and Keynes, Joan Robinson, and others. (shrink)
The sixth volume of the Collected Works of Micha/l Kalecki, one of the twentieth-century's pre-eminent economists, contains his empirical studies of the capitalist economy, published primarily in pre-war Poland. The first part of the book collects together reviews of business conditions in commodity markets, studies of the structure and operations of large companies and cartels, and articles on international economic relations. These studies, written between 1928 and 1935, demonstrate Kalecki's keen insight into the international consequences of the Great Crisis of (...) 1929-33, and into the developments in Nazi Germany. The second part contains Kalecki's papers on the methodological problems of examining business fluctuations and on constructing indicators of economic trends. Part 3 comprises, Kalecki's estimates of the national income in Poland and of its structure. These studies, conducted between 1931 and 1935, were unique at the time in taking into account the distribution of aggregate income between the main social classes. The editorial notes and annexes at the end of the volume not only provide invaluable background information and explanatory glosses on the main text, but also give invaluable insights into the development of Kalecki's thought. (shrink)
The main objective of Micheal Sandel’s Liberalism and the Limits of Justice was to attack the concept of deontology, as formulated by John Rawls. In this article, I argue that Sandel interpreted the concept of deontology in a misleading way. There is a difference between how Rawls defined this concept and how it was interpreted by Sandel. Given this, the first part of this article will analyze the way Sandel interpreted the Rawlsian concept of deontology. The second part presents an (...) assessment of the clash between the two authors in light of the differences in the way both of them understood the meaning of deontology in political liberalism. (shrink)