# Can Robots Make Ethical Decisions?

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by sandy, Sep 21, 2009.

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1. ### cluelusshusbund+ Public Dilemma +Valued Senior Member

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Is it you'r opinion that the non-livin enviroment you speek of had a cause.???

3. ### quantum_waveContemplating the "as yet" unknownValued Senior Member

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I don't think so. I've thought about it both ways and have concluded that the non-living environment has always existed and has no first cause. l consider it natural that life is generated from the non-living environment through iteration and the natural physics of the universe never change, but remain invariant meaning that the non-living environment that has always existed has always had the nature to generate life, and so life has always existed too. It seems that life just starts up and springs from a hospitable non-living environment; iterations of chemestry and conditions.

What do you think?

5. ### cluelusshusbund+ Public Dilemma +Valued Senior Member

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Whatever the answr is i suspect its logical... an nether of the above (firs cause/always was) souns all that logical to me... i suspect the corect answr is about as knowable to "us" as an ameobia is likely to understan a newspaper :shrug:

7. ### quantum_waveContemplating the "as yet" unknownValued Senior Member

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Let's say you are right. Here we are thinking about things around us and we are clueless as to reality, but we both decide to assume that what ever reality is, we are not equipped to grasp it with our human equipment. Should we try to convince the world of that or should we just ignore all the petty thinking that is going on around us?

8. ### cluelusshusbund+ Public Dilemma +Valued Senior Member

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I see no end to speculaton in the near future... i hope to live long enuff that the petty thankin of humans finaly leads to self-programin computers which evolve to the pont of givin a mor logical asnwr to how we cam to be.!!!

9. ### Jean-PierreChatelainRegistered Member

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Machines will remain machines as long as we control their power source ... You ever seen your pc boot up without you switching it on?

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Good pont

11. ### ForcemanMay the force be with youRegistered Senior Member

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Though it be theoretical, quantum computers are the only path to self-thinking machines. (Otherwise, algorithms can be redone, functions can be modified, and firmware will be firmware).

12. ### quantum_waveContemplating the "as yet" unknownValued Senior Member

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Your points about the pitfalls of our thinking robots are valid IMHO, however you suggestion that quantum computers can overcome those pitfalls is not as clear. Give me a link that you like that describes quantum computing and that implies that quantum computers won't be subject to the same algorithm rewrites, function modifications, and equipment failures. In other words what makes you confident that even quantum computers could fit the bill?

13. ### Luis A.C.ROMANELLIDon´t forget using mind ! ! !Registered Senior Member

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Imposible question that is cause never a machine will GENERATE IMAGINATION to work ! ! !

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15. ### cluelusshusbund+ Public Dilemma +Valued Senior Member

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Unless thers agreement on what "consciousness" is... it ant likely that people will agree on whether "machines" coud GENERATE IMAGINATION as humans do.!!!

16. ### Luis A.C.ROMANELLIDon´t forget using mind ! ! !Registered Senior Member

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Robots will NEVER make "ETHICAL" DECITIONS cause a Robot can compare ideas but it can
not IMAGINE cause its a machine and no more .It can compare but NO MUCH MORE so it
can"simulate"the inteligence but it can not replace the IMAGINE capacity of HUMANS ! ! !
..............................its very simple ! ! !

17. ### cluelusshusbund+ Public Dilemma +Valued Senior Member

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Origionaly posted by cluelusshusbund
Unless thers agreement on what "consciousness" is... it ant likely that people will agree on whether "machines" coud GENERATE IMAGINATION as humans do.!!!

Do you thank "consciousness" is biological.???

Do you thank "consciousness" is an entity which is seperate from the body.???

18. ### historicfutureRegistered Member

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I can completely describe conciousness to you.

And answer the original posts question.

Yes, robots can make ethical decisions in the future, because humans are just very sophisticated beings that act according to a set of laws like any robot or thing in the universe. Because we don't fully understand all of these laws (we don't understand ourselves fully) most people have a tough time comprehending that we are robotic in behavior.

This can be proven however in a very simple logical breakdown.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed. The energy that makes us up was once part of something else in the universe. It just rearranged itself more complexly and created us. That means it abides by the same underlying laws of the universe we were created out of. We are not transcended or special, no matter how much it hurts your ego, your emotion does not matter in science. You are just a more complicated replica of an insect or monkey in the sense that, they too are governed by the same laws that governs the behavior of even simpler components like water, or cells, or anything. Look at all the cells in the human body, yes you're going to get a complex result from something like a brain, but I'm so sick and tired of people believing that because they can't comprehend something yet that something mystical and fantastic is there. Like the 'god' in the heavens of the past or the 'human consciousness' that somehow transcends the universes robotic behavior.

19. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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When you can define which decisions are "ethical," yes, robots can apply that definition to make ethical decisions. Lot of luck to you trying to define them.

20. ### RJBeeryNatural PhilosopherValued Senior Member

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This post, while depressing for most, is exactly right. There is nothing "special" about humans, or even Life in general. We're all patterns of energy and information. Ethics has to do with making decisions based on consideration for both the individual AND the community, and robots will certainly be able to do this in the future.

21. ### SaquistBannedBanned

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In order for robots or computers to make ethical decision without programing it must have empathy which is based on emotion.

22. ### RJBeeryNatural PhilosopherValued Senior Member

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I'm not sure ethical considerations demand emotion. The nature of ethics and morals are deeply entrenched in philosophy, but I think you can boil down the good/evil debate (which is what ethics and morals rest upon) to what is "best for the community", which a robot should be able to calculate. If you think this is a squishy, subjective criteria I would agree and welcome you to the squishy, subjective debate.

Let me ask you this: can a person perform an unethical act if he were the last inhabitant on Earth?

23. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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I agree completely. One way to prove your point is to consider a organism* that has no emotions, yet act just in exactly the same way as an ethical person.

Also as I stated in prior post, if you can define what is ethical, then a machine can be programed to behave ethically simply by having its program always follow that definition.

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*Such an organism is called, in philosophical discussions a "Zombie," which has no relationship to the "walking dead" of Hatti.