John Sullins.  When is a Robot a Moral Agent?

1. Can you identify a non-robotic, non-human entities in our society that are moral agents by the definitions espoused in Sullins’ work? Explain.

2. Sullins’ definition of ‘autonomy’ on page 26 suggests a very low bar, enabling many computer-controlled systems to be labeled as autonomous. Autonomy may be more important than he suggests, so it is worth your time to think about defining autonomy more precisely for the consideration of moral agency in the case of autonomous robots specifically. So- give me a new, deeply thought-out definition of autonomy for this case. Please don’t invent a definition that can never be true!

Illah Nourbakhsh,
Sep 20, 2011, 7:25 AM