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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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Robots and Space Ethics

Robots and Space Ethics

Chapter:
(p.354) 23 Robots and Space Ethics
Source:
Robot Ethics 2.0
Author(s):

Keith Abney

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190652951.003.0023

As we begin our venture into space, issues with serious ethical implications deserve heightened scrutiny: among them are protection from space debris, hazardous asteroids, and other cosmic threats; planetary protection/quarantine and other safety and risk issues; protection of astronaut health; commercial and private sector activities in space, including tourism; and terraforming, colonization, and space settlements. The presumption that these activities require human astronauts is itself worthy of serious question; whether for reasons of cost, efficiency, or moral qualms, robots may be an ethically preferable choice to engage in most or perhaps even all of these activities. This chapter examines these issues and analyzes the moral case for robots, rather than human beings, filling the roles of space explorers, developers, miners, defenders, and settlers of the final frontier.

Keywords:   robots, ethics, space exploration, space colonization, space tourism, bioethics, risk assessment, existential risk, doomsday argument

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