Artificial Morality: Virtuous Robots for Virtual Games

By Peter Danielson | Go to book overview

11

CONCLUSION

If I have been successful so far, I have induced you to take seriously the possibility that we can learn something about rationality and morality by projecting social problems onto a radically simplified artificial world. In this chapter I reflect on the distance that we have covered. How far have we come and how close are we to our goal? I begin by stating my conclusions. Then I characterize my method as functionalism, contrast it with some criticisms that deny the possibility of artificial morality, and ask whether it is objectionable that my theory may not apply to people. Finally I consider how we might improve and more thoroughly test my sketchy conjectures, ending with some brief lessons learned from artificial morality.

11.1

THE CONTENT OF ARTIFICIAL MORALITY

The term ‘artificial morality’ could be taken to mean many things, providing a vague and moving target to critics. To remedy this I will pin my project down by assigning a proper name to the claims to which I am committed. Artificial Morality (the theory) consists of the following general methodological aim and the specified claims about the best means to satisfying this goal.

Methodological thesis. Programming artificial players to score well in tournaments of various players playing abstract non-iterated mixed motive games is a good way to develop a fundamental justification of morality.

Rational thesis. A player capable of responsively constraining herself to pursue outcomes mutually beneficial to itself and other

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Artificial Morality: Virtuous Robots for Virtual Games
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Figures ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • How to Avoid Reading Some of This Book xiii
  • Part I - Method 1
  • 1 - Rationality and Morality 3
  • 2 - Fundamental Justification and Games 19
  • 3 - Nature and Artifice 39
  • Part II - Rational Constraint 57
  • 4 - Conditional Co-Operation 61
  • 5 - Reciprocal Co-Operation 88
  • 6 - A Moral Monster? 111
  • Part III - Flexibility, Information, and Acquiescence 125
  • 7 - Flexible Players 129
  • 8 - Information and Its Costs 148
  • 9 - Chicken 163
  • 10 - Discrimination, Fairness and Sanctions 179
  • 11 - Conclusion 195
  • Appendix A 203
  • Prolog Implementations 205
  • Notes 210
  • Bibliography 229
  • Index 236
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