New Publication: Guilty Artificial Minds

While philosophers hold that it is patently absurd to blame robots or hold them morally responsible, a series of recent empirical studies suggest that people do ascribe blame to AI systems and robots in certain contexts. This is disconcerting: Blame might be shifted from the owners, users or designers of AI systems to the systems themselves, leading to the diminished accountability of the responsible human agents. 

In this new paper, Markus Kneer (former DSI Fellow) and Michael Stuart explore one of the potential underlying reasons for robot blame, namely the folk's willingness to ascribe inculpating mental states or "mens rea" to robots.