AISB/IACAP World Congress 2012 - The Machine Question: AI, Ethics and Moral Responsibility, Part of Alan Turing Year 2012
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Moral philosophies are arguably all anthropocentric and so fundamentally concerned with biological mechanisms. Computationalism, on the other hand, sees biology as just one possible implementation medium. Can non-human, non-biological agents be moral' This paper looks at the nature of morals, at what is necessary for a mechanism to make moral decisions, and at the impact biology might have on the process. It concludes that moral behaviour is concerned solely with social well-being, independent of the nature of the individual agents that comprise the group. While biology certainly affects human moral reasoning, it in no way restricts the development of artificial moral agents. The consequences of sophisticated artifical mechanisms living with natural human ones is also explored. While the prospects for peaceful coexistence are not particularly good, it is the realisation that humans no longer occupy a privileged place in the world, that is likely to be the most disconcerting. Computationalism implies we are mechanisms; probably the most immoral of moral mechanisms.