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    The Ethical Value of LAI in Social Robotics

    EVA Copenhagen 2018 - Politics of the Machines - Art and After

    Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 - 17 May 2018


    James W. Besse & Rosangela Barcaro Ph.D



    In this paper, we take the position that the ethically important aspect of artificial intelligence (AI) is the entry of unintelligent machines into human affairs. Elaborating upon the views of Luciano Floridi (1999), we show why an effective example of AI is a machine which engages in a simple array of tasks and processes. Intelligent machines, we hold, should be approached from a perspective which recognizes the reality of their lack of human-like intelligence, while still acknowledging their success as companions.

    The paper begins by explicating Luciano Floridi’s critique of Alan Turing in Philosophy and Computing (1999) and advocacy of light artificial intelligence (LAI), and begins to explain some of the full implications of his view by showing the ways in which a passion for non-human intelligence existed even in Turing and his colleagues. In the following section, we move through the assumptions made by Cynthia Breazeal of MIT, and demonstrate social robotics’ compatibility with Floridi’s ideas.

    We examine several examples to defend our point about the successes of LAI in social robotics. In the final section, we examine the ethical consequences of LAI in social robotics, such as openness to alterity and realization of the human interrelatedness with technology.


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