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Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics

Editor-in-Chief: Schöner, Gregor

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CiteScore 2017: 0.33

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Towards animal-friendly machines

Oliver Bendel
Published Online: 2018-08-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pjbr-2018-0019


Semi-autonomous machines, autonomous machines and robots inhabit closed, semi-closed and open environments. There they encounter domestic animals, farm animals, working animals and/or wild animals. These animals could be disturbed, displaced, injured or killed. Within the context of machine ethics, the School of Business FHNW developed several design studies and prototypes for animal-friendly machines,which can be understood as moral machines in the spirit of this discipline. They were each linked with an annotated decision tree containing the ethical assumptions or justifications for interactions with animals. Annotated decision trees are seen as an important basis in developing moral machines. They are not without problems and contradictions, but they do guarantee well-founded, secure actions that are repeated at a certain level. This article documents completed and current projects, compares their relative risks and benefits, and makes proposals for future developments in machine ethics. The findings in this article and proposals for the future hope to systemically promote animal well-being and prevent animal suffering in encounters between machines and animals.

Keywords: machine ethics; roboethics; artificial intelligence; robotics; animal ethics; animal welfare; decision trees; annotated decision trees


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About the article

Received: 2017-12-27

Accepted: 2018-06-12

Published Online: 2018-08-28

Citation Information: Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages 204–213, ISSN (Online) 2081-4836, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pjbr-2018-0019.

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© by Oliver Bendel, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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