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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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White Lies on Silver Tongues

White Lies on Silver Tongues

Why Robots Need to Deceive (and How)

Chapter:
(p.157) 11 White Lies on Silver Tongues
Source:
Robot Ethics 2.0
Author(s):

Alistair M. C. Isaac

Will Bridewell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190652951.003.0011

It is easy to see that social robots will need the ability to detect and evaluate deceptive speech; otherwise they will be vulnerable to manipulation by malevolent humans. More surprisingly, we argue that effective social robots must also be able to produce deceptive speech. Many forms of technically deceptive speech perform a positive pro-social function, and the social integration of artificial agents will be possible only if they participate in this market of constructive deceit. We demonstrate that a crucial condition for detecting and producing deceptive speech is possession of a theory of mind. Furthermore, strategic reasoning about deception requires identifying a type of goal distinguished by its priority over the norms of conversation, which we call an ulterior motive. We argue that this goal is the appropriate target for ethical evaluation, not the veridicality of speech per se. Consequently, deception-capable robots are compatible with the most prominent programs to ensure that robots behave ethically.

Keywords:   morality, deception, white lies, ulterior motive, paltering, bullshit, pandering, conversational maxim, Scotty principle

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