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Playing the Blame Game with Robots

In Markus Kneer & Michael T. Stuart (eds.), Companion of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI’21 Companion). New York, NY, USA: (2021)

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  1. Interpreting ordinary uses of psychological and moral terms in the AI domain.Hyungrae Noh - 2023 - Synthese 201 (6):1-33.
    Intuitively, proper referential extensions of psychological and moral terms exclude artifacts. Yet ordinary speakers commonly treat AI robots as moral patients and use psychological terms to explain their behavior. This paper examines whether this referential shift from the human domain to the AI domain entails semantic changes: do ordinary speakers literally consider AI robots to be psychological or moral beings? Three non-literalist accounts for semantic changes concerning psychological and moral terms used in the AI domain will be discussed: the technical (...)
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  • Can a Robot Lie? Exploring the Folk Concept of Lying as Applied to Artificial Agents.Markus Https://Orcidorg Kneer - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (10):e13032.
    The potential capacity for robots to deceive has received considerable attention recently. Many papers explore the technical possibility for a robot to engage in deception for beneficial purposes (e.g., in education or health). In this short experimental paper, I focus on a more paradigmatic case: robot lying (lying being the textbook example of deception) for nonbeneficial purposes as judged from the human point of view. More precisely, I present an empirical experiment that investigates the following three questions: (a) Are ordinary (...)
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  • A Comparative Defense of Self-initiated Prospective Moral Answerability for Autonomous Robot harm.Marc Champagne & Ryan Tonkens - 2023 - Science and Engineering Ethics 29 (4):1-26.
    As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated and robots approach autonomous decision-making, debates about how to assign moral responsibility have gained importance, urgency, and sophistication. Answering Stenseke’s (2022a) call for scaffolds that can help us classify views and commitments, we think the current debate space can be represented hierarchically, as answers to key questions. We use the resulting taxonomy of five stances to differentiate—and defend—what is known as the “blank check” proposal. According to this proposal, a person activating a robot could (...)
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  • Responsibility Gaps and Retributive Dispositions: Evidence from the US, Japan and Germany.Markus Kneer & Markus Christen - manuscript
    Danaher (2016) has argued that increasing robotization can lead to retribution gaps: Situation in which the normative fact that nobody can be justly held responsible for a harmful outcome stands in conflict with our retributivist moral dispositions. In this paper, we report a cross-cultural empirical study based on Sparrow’s (2007) famous example of an autonomous weapon system committing a war crime, which was conducted with participants from the US, Japan and Germany. We find that (i) people manifest a considerable willingness (...)
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  • Capable but Amoral? Comparing AI and Human Expert Collaboration in Ethical Decision Making.Suzanne Tolmeijer, Markus Christen, Serhiy Kandul, Markus Kneer & Abraham Bernstein - 2022 - Proceedings of the 2022 Chi Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 160:160:1–17.
    While artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly applied for decision-making processes, ethical decisions pose challenges for AI applications. Given that humans cannot always agree on the right thing to do, how would ethical decision-making by AI systems be perceived and how would responsibility be ascribed in human-AI collaboration? In this study, we investigate how the expert type (human vs. AI) and level of expert autonomy (adviser vs. decider) influence trust, perceived responsibility, and reliance. We find that participants consider humans to be (...)
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  • Guilty Artificial Minds: Folk Attributions of Mens Rea and Culpability to Artificially Intelligent Agents.Michael T. Stuart & Markus Kneer - 2021 - Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction 5 (CSCW2).
    While philosophers hold that it is patently absurd to blame robots or hold them morally responsible [1], a series of recent empirical studies suggest that people do ascribe blame to AI systems and robots in certain contexts [2]. This is disconcerting: Blame might be shifted from the owners, users or designers of AI systems to the systems themselves, leading to the diminished accountability of the responsible human agents [3]. In this paper, we explore one of the potential underlying reasons for (...)
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  • Can Artificial Intelligence Make Art?Elzė Sigutė Mikalonytė & Markus Kneer - 2022 - ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interactions.
    In two experiments (total N=693) we explored whether people are willing to consider paintings made by AI-driven robots as art, and robots as artists. Across the two experiments, we manipulated three factors: (i) agent type (AI-driven robot v. human agent), (ii) behavior type (intentional creation of a painting v. accidental creation), and (iii) object type (abstract v. representational painting). We found that people judge robot paintings and human painting as art to roughly the same extent. However, people are much less (...)
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