A Rawlsian algorithm for autonomous vehicles

Ethics and Information Technology 19 (2):107-115 (2017)
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Abstract

Autonomous vehicles must be programmed with procedures for dealing with trolley-style dilemmas where actions result in harm to either pedestrians or passengers. This paper outlines a Rawlsian algorithm as an alternative to the Utilitarian solution. The algorithm will gather the vehicle’s estimation of probability of survival for each person in each action, then calculate which action a self-interested person would agree to if he or she were in an original bargaining position of fairness. I will employ Rawls’ assumption that the Maximin procedure is what self-interested agents would use from an original position, and then show how the Maximin procedure can be operationalized to produce unique outputs over probabilities of survival.

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Derek Leben
Carnegie Mellon University

References found in this work

Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 1904 - Harmondsworth,: Penguin Books. Edited by C. B. Macpherson.
Morals by agreement.David P. Gauthier - 1986 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 2007 - In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong.Wendell Wallach & Colin Allen - 2008 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.

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