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Once the stuff of science fiction, recent progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning means that these rapidly advancing technologies are finally coming into widespread use within everyday life. Such rapid development in these areas also brings with it a host of social, political and legal issues, as well as a rise in public concern and academic interest in the ethical challenges these new technologies pose.
This volume is a collection of scholarly work from leading figures in the development of both robot ethics and machine ethics; it includes essays of historical significance which have become foundational for research in these two new areas of study, as well as important recent articles. The research articles selected focus on the control and governance of computational systems; the exploration of ethical and moral theories using software and robots as laboratories or simulations; inquiry into the necessary requirements for moral agency and the basis and boundaries of rights; and questions of how best to design systems that are both useful and morally sound. Collectively the articles ask what the practical ethical and legal issues, arising from the development of robots, will be over the next twenty years and how best to address these future considerations.