Ethics and Artificial Intelligence

Photo by James Vaughan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Artificial Intelligence has been the stuff of movies for decades, but what used to be fiction is rapidly becoming our reality. Companies are increasingly exploring the use of self-driving cars, facial recognition, and robotics. As these changes become more prevalent, how have developers considered the ethical implications of their work? Can you teach a robot morality?

Check out the story, Teaching Robots Right from Wrong, published in 1843, the magazine from The Economist. Author Simon Parkin explores several initiatives to introduce ethics into the development of robotic systems, all that utilize different methods and theoretical justification. One of them involves the use of short stories to teach social cues and situational norms. If this method continues, will future library patrons include fledgling robots? How strange would that be!

What are your thoughts on imbuing ethics into robotic technology? Unlike the movies, we can’t just fast-forward to the end, only time will tell. Email your thoughts to

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