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The Case for an Ethical Black Box

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Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems (TAROS 2017)

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This paper proposes that robots and autonomous systems should be equipped with the equivalent of a Flight Data Recorder to continuously record sensor and relevant internal status data. We call this an ethical black box. We argue that an ethical black box will be critical to the process of discovering why and how a robot caused an accident, and thus an essential part of establishing accountability and responsibility. We also argue that without the transparency afforded by an ethical black box, robots and autonomous systems are unlikely to win public trust.

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This work has, in part, been supported by EPSRC grant ref EP/L024861/1. We are also grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments.

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Correspondence to Alan F. T. Winfield .

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Winfield, A.F.T., Jirotka, M. (2017). The Case for an Ethical Black Box. In: Gao, Y., Fallah, S., Jin, Y., Lekakou, C. (eds) Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems. TAROS 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 10454. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-64106-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-64107-2

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