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Moral MachinesTeaching Robots Right from Wrong$
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Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195374049

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374049.001.0001

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MERGING TOP‐DOWN AND BOTTOM‐UP

MERGING TOP‐DOWN AND BOTTOM‐UP

Chapter:
(p.117) Chapter 8 MERGING TOP‐DOWN AND BOTTOM‐UP
Source:
Moral Machines
Author(s):

Wendell Wallach

Colin Allen (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374049.003.0009

The topic of this chapter is the application of virtue ethics to the development of artificial moral agents. The difficulties of applying general moral theories in a top‐down fashion to artificial moral agents motivate the return to the virtue‐based conception of morality that can be traced to Aristotle. Virtues constitute a hybrid between top‐down and bottom‐up approaches in that the virtues themselves can be explicitly described, but their acquisition as moral character traits seems essentially to be a bottom‐up process. Placing this approach in a computational framework, the chapter discusses the suitability of the kinds of neural network models provided by connectionism for training (ro)bots to distinguish right from wrong.

Keywords:   artificial moral agents, Aristotle, connectionism, moral character, neural network, virtue, virtue ethics

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