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Robot Ethics 2.0From Autonomous Cars to Artificial Intelligence$
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Patrick Lin, Keith Abney, and Ryan Jenkins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190652951

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190652951.001.0001

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Autonomous Vehicles and Moral Uncertainty

Autonomous Vehicles and Moral Uncertainty

(p.5) 1 Autonomous Vehicles and Moral Uncertainty
Robot Ethics 2.0

Vikram Bhargava

Tae Wan Kim

Oxford University Press

The chief purposes of this chapter are to explore the problem of moral uncertainty as it pertains to autonomous vehicles and to outline possible solutions. The problem is the following: How should autonomous vehicles be programmed to act when the person who has the authority to choose the ethics of the autonomous vehicle is under moral uncertainty? Roughly, an agent is morally uncertain when she has access to all (or most) of the relevant non-moral facts, including but not limited to empirical and legal facts, but still remains uncertain about what morality requires of her. We argue that the problem of moral uncertainty in the context of autonomous vehicles is an important problem and then critically engage with two solutions to the problem. We conclude by discussing a solution that we think is more promising—that of the philosopher Andrew Sepielli—and offer some support in its defense.

Keywords:   robots, autonomous vehicles, cars, ethics, morality, uncertainty, artificial intelligence, machine ethics, decision making, normative

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