Winter Intelligence 2012 Oxford University Video thanks to Adam Ford, Extended Abstract: The gradually increasing sophistication of semi-autonomous and autonomous robots and virtual agents has led some scholars to propose constraining these systems’ behaviors with programmed ethical principles (“machine ethics”). While impressive machine ethics theories and prototypes have been developed for narrow domains, several factors will likely prevent machine ethics from ensuring positive outcomes from advanced, cross-domain autonomous systems. This paper critically reviews existing approaches to machine ethics in general and Friendly AI in particular (an approach to constraining the actions of future self-improving AI systems favored by the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence), finding that while such approaches may be useful for guiding the behavior of some semi-autonomous and autonomous systems in some contexts, these projects cannot succeed in guaranteeing ethical behavior and may introduce new risks inadvertently. Moreover, while some incarnation of machine ethics may be necessary for ensuring positive social outcomes from artificial intelligence and robotics, it will not be sufficient, since other social and technical measures will also be critically important for realizing positive outcomes from these emerging technologies. Building an ethical autonomous machine requires a decision on the part of the system designer as to which ethical framework to implement. Unfortunately, there are currently no fully-articulated moral theories that can plausibly be realized in an autonomous system, in part because the moral intuitions that ethicists attempt to systematize are not, in fact, consistent across all domains. Unified ethical theories are all either too [More]