Monkeys and Moral Machines

David Lawrence, John Harris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

Debates over moral machines are often guilty of making wide assumptions about the nature of future autonomous entities, and frequently bypass the distinction between ‘agents’ and ‘actors’ to the detriment of their conclusions. The scope and limits of moral status are fundamentally linked to this distinction. We position non-homo sapiens great apes as members of a particular moral status clade, which are treated in a similar fashion to that proposed for so-called ‘moral machines’. The principles by which we ultimately decide to treat great apes, and whether or not we decide to act upon our responsibilities to them as moral agents, are likely to be the same principles we use to decide our responsibilities to moral AI in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Moral Status
EditorsStephen Clarke
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2021

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