Machine Ethics From Machine Morals to the Machinery of Morality

The present work has as main object of the recent inquiries of Luís Moniz Pereira in the domain of computational morality, articulated with the social impacts of artificial intelligence (AI). These inquiries are mostly in the English language, dispersed by scientific articles, presentations and interviews. Given their relevance, they deserve not only the articulation into a single work, but also translation into Portuguese. This allows access to a more diverse public, but driven by curiosity about the developments of the AI. Its format simulates a dialogue between the scientist/philosopher—Luís Moniz Pereira—and the philosopher/novelist—António Barata Lopes. In recovering this form of classical exposition—which dates from Plato—the authors intended to note that all knowledge follows a logic of problems and solutions that, in their turn, open horizons for new problems. It also indicates that, in scientific knowledge, there are no closed topics about themselves; therefore, adequately addressing an issue already points to possible modes of solutions. On the other hand, although the format has required the keeping of some redundancies, we wish to have rendered the reader’s approach to the topics addressed much more understandable and dynamic.

This book follows the collaboration of António Barata Lopes in Luís Moniz Pereira’s book in Portuguese A Máquina Iluminada—Cognição e Computação (The Enlightened Machine—Cognition and Computation) (published at Porto: Fronteira do Caos Editores 2016). Encouraged by the intention to add a pertinent and questioning work—in a project we considered necessary and even urgent—the first author provided the second with the huge digital collection of his works (which were growing). He also gave him complete freedom to select the contents and composition of the work we are now presenting. Structure and content evolved throughout our frequent conversations.