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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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Superintelligence as Superethical

Superintelligence as Superethical

(p.322) 21 Superintelligence as Superethical
Robot Ethics 2.0

Steve Petersen

Oxford University Press

Nick Bostrom’s book Superintelligence outlines a frightening but realistic scenario for human extinction: true artificial intelligence is likely to bootstrap itself into superintelligence, and thereby become ideally effective at achieving its goals. Human-friendly goals seem too abstract to be preprogrammed with any confidence; and if those goals are not explicitly favorable to humans, the superintelligence will extinguish us—not through any malice, but simply because it will want our resources for its own purposes. In response, I argue that things might not be as bad as Bostrom suggests. If the superintelligence must learn complex final goals, then this means such a superintelligence must in effect reason about its own goals. And because it will be especially clear to a superintelligence that there are no sharp lines between one agent’s goals and another’s, that reasoning could therefore automatically be ethical in nature.

Keywords:   robots, ethics, superintelligence, singularity, practical reasoning, value alignment, specificationism, coherence reasoning, personal identity

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