ABSTRACTS

On this page you can find abstracts of selected articles on information ethics and machine ethics (only available in English).

SSML for Sex Robots

In love and sex, the voice is a decisive factor. It not only matters what is said, but also how it is said. Pitch, volume and personal expression are important to attract and retain potential partners. The same goes for sex robots and love dolls, and is true for chatbots and virtual assistants with sexual orientation as well. If you are not working with ordinary recordings, they all need artificial voices (if you decide to use voices at all). The synthetization of voices, or speech synthesis, has been an object of interest for centuries. Today, it is mostly realized with a text-to-speech system (TTS), an automaton that interprets and reads aloud. This system refers to text which is available for instance in a knowledge base or on a website. Different procedures have been established to adjust the artificial voice. This article examines how the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) can be used for sex robots and love servants. Existing tags, attributes and values are categorized in the present context and new ones are proposed to support the purpose of the special machines. In addition, a short ethical discussion takes place.

Keywords: Sex Robots, Robot Sex, Artificial Intelligence, Text-to-Speech System, Speech Synthesis Markup Language, Information Ethics, Roboethics

Bendel, Oliver. SSML for Sex Robots. In: Cheok, Adrian David; Devlin, Kate; Levy, David (eds.). Love and Sex with Robots. Second International Conference, LSR 2017, London, UK, December 19-20, 2017, Revised Selected Papers. Springer International Publishing, Cham 2018. (Will be published in 2018)

Co-Robots from an Ethical Perspective

Cooperation and collaboration robots work hand in hand with their human colleagues. This contribution focuses on the use of these robots in production. The co-robots (to use this umbrella term) are defined and classified, and application areas, examples of applications and product examples are mentioned. Against this background, a discussion on moral issues follows, both from the perspective of information and technology ethics and business ethics. Central concepts of these fields of applied ethics are referred to and transferred to the areas of application. In moral terms, the use of cooperation and collaboration robots involves both opportunities and risks. Co-robots can support workers and save them from strains and injuries, but can also displace them in certain activities or make them dependent. Machine ethics is included at the margin; it addresses whether and how to improve the decisions and actions of (partially) autonomous systems with respect to morality. Cooperation and collaboration robots are a new and interesting subject for it.

Keywords: Cooperation Robots, Collaboration Robots, Co-Robots, Cobots, Information Ethics, Technology Ethics, Business Ethics, Machine Ethics

Bendel, Oliver. Co-Robots from an Ethical Perspective. In: Dornberger, Rolf (ed.). Information Systems and Technology 4.0: New Trends in the Age of Digital Change. Springer International Publishing, Cham 2017. (Will be published in December 2017)

Sex Robots and Robot Sex from an Ethical perspective

Real sex robots, unlike sex toys, have yet to establish themselves. Admittedly, the development of these special service robots is still in its early stages, and we can expect this much-loved object of societal and media debates to become commonplace at some point. Perhaps there’s more robot sex than we’d like to think: this sex doesn’t just have to be with sex robots, but also with service robots that were originally meant to perform other tasks. This article defines central concepts related to this topic, explicitly asking questions regarding the possibility of robot sex without sex robots. There is an introduction to machine ethics that will examine the possibilities of machine morality. In addition, information ethics and technology ethics will be considered in terms of the light they shed on the design and use of robots for sexual activity. There will then be a conclusion and discussion of future prospects.

Keywords: Machine Ethics, Sexual Ethics, Ethics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Sex Robots, Robots Sex, Love Dolls

Bendel. Oliver. Sex Robots and Robot Sex from an Ethical perspective. In: Otto, Philipp; Gräf, Eike. 3TH1CS: A Reinvention of Ethics in the Digital Age? iRIGHTS media, Berlin 2017. pp. 30 – 42.

The Synthetization of Human Voices

The synthetization of voices, or speech synthesis, has been an object of interest for centuries. It is mostly realized with a text-to-speech system (TTS), an automaton that interprets and reads aloud. This system refers to text available for instance on a website or in a book, or entered via popup menu on the website, and reads it aloud. Today, just a few minutes of samples are enough in order to be able to imitate a speaker convincingly in all kinds of statements. This article abstracts from actual products and actual technological realization. Rather, after a short historical outline of the synthetization of voices, exemplary applications of this kind of technology are gathered for promoting the development, and potential applications are discussed critically in order to be able to limit them if necessary. The ethical and legal challenges should not be underestimated, in particular with regard to informational and personal autonomy and the trustworthiness of media.

Keywords: Speech Synthesis, Text-to-speech System, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Information Ethics, Machine Ethics

Bendel, Oliver. The Synthetization of Human Voices. In: AI & SOCIETY, July 26, 2017. (“online first” article on SpringerLink). Via http://rdcu.be/uvxm.

LADYBIRD: the Animal-Friendly Robot Vacuum Cleaner

More and more autonomous and semi-autonomous machines make decisions that have moral implications. Machine ethics as a discipline examines the possibilities and limits of moral machines. In this context, the author developed various design studies and thus submitted proposals for their appearance and functions. He focused on animal-friendly machines which make morally sound decisions, and chatbots with specific skills. For the design of moral machines decision trees are still little used. This article focuses on a service robot which shall spare beneficial insects – a vacuum cleaner called LADYBIRD – and an annotated decision tree modelled for this objective will be presented. The outlined work leads to a practice project that was proposed in spring 2017 at the School of Business FHNW.

Keywords: Machine Ethics, Robot Ethics, Ethics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Ethics by Design, Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Bendel, Oliver. LADYBIRD: the Animal-Friendly Robot Vacuum Cleaner. In: The 2017 AAAI Spring Symposium Series. AAAI Press, Palo Alto 2017. Available as PDF.

Towards Kant Machines

For some years now, ethics no longer only means human ethics. The young discipline of machine ethics researches the morality of semi-autonomous and autonomous systems like self-driving cars, robots and drones. Interactive software systems such as chatbots are also relevant. In 2013, the School of Business at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) implemented a prototype of the GOODBOT, which is a novelty chatbot and a simple moral machine. One of its meta-rules was that it should not lie unless not lying would hurt the user. In a follow-up project in 2016, the LIEBOT was developed, a kind of Munchausen machine. This article describes the back-ground and the foundations of this project and lists the chatbot’s strategies of lying. Then it discusses how Munchausen machines as immoral machines can contribute to the construction and optimization of moral machines, for example Kant machines, which prefer the truth. The LIEBOT serves as a contribution to machine ethics as well as a critical review of electronic language-based systems and services.

Keywords: Machine Ethics, Ethics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Ethics by Design, Chatbot, Munchausen Machines

Bendel, Oliver; Schwegler, Kevin; Richards, Bradley. Towards Kant Machines. In: The 2017 AAAI Spring Symposium Series. AAAI Press, Palo Alto 2017. Available as PDF.

Sex Robots from the Perspective of Machine Ethics

This contribution explains firstly the terms and the phenomena of sex robots and robot sex and the foundations of machine ethics. Secondly it poses questions related to sex robots as moral agents, from a general and a specific perspective, aiming at assisting manufacturers and developers. By using the questions, the opportunities and risks can be discussed in a structured manner. Thirdly, the fields of applied ethics are included to work out the implications for humans as moral patients. At the end, the author summarizes the findings. Machine ethics, from his point of view, may help to construct sex robots and service robots with special capabilities which are moral machines in their appearance and in their behaviour and which may allow some people to complement their sexual activities and to lead a fulfilling life. The fields of applied ethics may be beneficial with respect to the adequate use of sex robots.

Keywords: Machine Ethics, Sexual Ethics, Ethics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Sex Robots, Robots Sex, Love Dolls

Bendel, Oliver. Sex Robots from the Perspective of Machine Ethics. In: Cheok, Adrian David; Devlin, Kate; Levy, David (eds.). Love and Sex with Robots. Second International Conference, LSR 2016, London, UK, December 19-20, 2016, Revised Selected Papers. Springer International Publishing, Cham 2017. pp. 1 – 10.

Annotated Decision Trees for Simple Moral Machines

Autonomization often follows after the automization on which it is based. More and more machines have to make decisions with moral implications. Machine ethics, which can be seen as an equivalent of human ethics, analyses the chances and limits of moral machines. So far, decision trees have not been commonly used for modelling moral machines. This article proposes an approach for creating annotated decision trees, and specifies their central components. The focus is on simple moral machines. The chances of such models are illustrated with the example of a self-driving car that is friendly to humans and animals. Finally the advantages and disadvantages are discussed and conclusions are drawn.

Keywords: Machine Ethics, Robot Ethics, Ethics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Ethics by Design, Autonomous Car, Self-driving Car

Bendel, Oliver. Annotated Decision Trees for Simple Moral Machines. In: The 2016 AAAI Spring Symposium Series. AAAI Press, Palo Alto 2016. pp. 195 – 201.

Considerations about the relationship between animal and machine ethics

Ethics researches morality in respect to humans and animals. Usually it implies human morality, therefore the focus is on human-human relationships (generally in ethics) and human-animal relationships (in animal ethics). Ethics can also deal with the morality of machines such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), robots and agents or of self-driving cars and computers in automated trading, in other words more or less autonomous systems and programs. Machine ethics almost exclusively concentrates on machine-human relationships rather than on machine-animal relationships. Before this background, this article contributes some basic considerations about the relationship between animal and machine ethics.

Keywords: Machine Ethics, Robot Ethics, Animal Ethics, Ethics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Ethics by Design

Bendel, Oliver. Considerations about the relationship between animal and machine ethics. In: AI & SOCIETY, 31 (1), 2016. pp. 103 – 108. (December 2013 as “online first” article on SpringerLink)

Robots between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

This article presents classic dilemmas and transfers them to the information age with special focus on the problem-ridden use of chatbots, robots, drones and self-driving cars. Solution concepts are developed from the perspective of machine ethics among others. It turns out that classic dilemmas are useful for mastering today’s challenges and helpful for discussing the decision-making options of partly or fully autonomous systems and for sensitizing robotics, artificial intelligence and computer science to such matters in order to optimize their results and products.

Keywords: Machine Ethics, Robot Ethics, Ethics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Ethics by Design, Dilemma

Bendel, Oliver. Robots between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. In: Liinc em Revista, 2 (2015) 11. pp. 410 – 417. Via http://revista.ibict.br/liinc/index.php/liinc/article/view/828.

Reflections on the Development and the Design of Medical and Care Robots

There is a fundamental transformation in the field of health care: operation robots, therapy robots, care robots and sex robots, which can be characterized as medical and care robots (MCR), become more and more indispensable. Surgical robots are similar to industrial robots. Therapy, care and sex robots, however, often have a body and a locomotor system, and frequently resemble animals or human beings. Consequently, some of them can not only perform actions, but have a certain appearance, they can understand the human language and even write or talk, respectively utter sounds. Accordingly, the morality of these machines consists in their actions, in their appearance (including gestures and facial expression), and in their (natural) language skills. This contribution is committed to the findings of machine ethics and raises some thoughts for the development and design of moral MCR, with a focus on actions and appearance, as well as on the (natural) language skills. Using the literature and own research and considerations, appropriate meta-rules are being established, and central problem areas are identified without making concrete technical and design specifications. The problem descriptions allow robotics experts, computer scientists and designers to take into account social and moral aspects and to improve the MCR from an ethical perspective.

Keywords: Machine Ethics, Robot Ethics, Medical Ethics, Ethics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Ethics by Design, Care Robot

Bendel, Oliver. Reflections on the Development and the Design of Medical and Care Robots. In: gbs-schweiz.org, March 5, 2015. Via http://gbs-schweiz.org/blog/development-design-medical-care-robots/.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Animals

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are widely used. Some support and inform the driver. Others relieve him or her of certain tasks – and transform the human-guided system into a semi-autonomous one. For some years also fully autonomous systems have been on the roads, so-called self-driving cars, as prototypes of companies and within research projects. From the perspective of ethics – both of the special fields of ethics like animal ethics, information ethics and technology ethics and of machine ethics which can be understood as a counterpart to human ethics –, advanced driver assistance systems raise various questions. The aim of this paper is to derive suggestions from animal ethics and other disciplines for the improvement and development of the systems. The basis are literature analysis and own classifications and considerations. The result is that there are many possibilities to expand existing systems and to develop new functions in the context with the aim to reduce the number of animal victims.

Keywords: Machine Ethics, Robot Ethics, Animal Ethics, Ethics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Ethics by Design, Autonomous Car, Self-Driving Car, Advanced Driver Assistance System

Bendel, Oliver. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Animals. In: Künstliche Intelligenz, October 9, 2014 (“online first” article on SpringerLink).

Towards Machine Ethics

In this paper, the field of machine ethics is explored. Firstly, the concept and the classification of machine ethics are clarified. Secondly, the main topics of machine ethics are described; a distinction is made between different kinds of systems and situations in which they act. Thirdly, three classical normative models are described and estimated relating to their suitability for machine processing. It was found that all of these models can be used in machine ethics and be combined with the case-based and observation-based approach.

Keywords: Machine Ethics, Robot Ethics, Animal Ethics, Ethics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Ethics by Design, Autonomous Car, Self-Driving Car, Advanced Driver Assistance System

Bendel, Oliver. Towards Machine Ethics. In: Michalek, Tomáš; Hebáková, Lenka; Hennen, Leonhard et al. (eds.). Technology Assessment and Policy Areas of Great Transitions. 1st PACITA Project Conference, March 13 – 15, 2013. Prague 2014. pp. 321 – 326.

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