Senior Scientist, Hellenic National Bioethics Commission, Bioethics /Biolaw
Title of Paper:
The moral status of intelligent machines
Subdisciplinary Area: Bioethics
Keywords: Bioethics, intelligent machines, artificial intelligence, moral status
Abstract: So far, the objective of Bioethics refers to life as a natural phenomenon, that is, to natural beings able to reproduce. This does not cover the situation of intelligent machines, as modern products of advanced technology. The ongoing development of artificial intelligence and its applications to robotics pave the way for the emergence of machines with “strong” artificial intelligence, including also the development of “artificial conscience” or “artificial brain”. The main characteristic of these is expected to be the ability of self-programming through the elaboration of inputs from the external world, even of the most complicated of them. Given all the above, the question is whether there will be a real difference of such machines from living organisms. And furthermore, whether we must recognize for these machines a certain moral value, by using also a terminology like “respect”, “responsibility”, “autonomy”, “rights” etc, when in the future their functions will be considered as similar to the cognitive functions of a human person.