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Fuzzy ethics: or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bot.

Heron, Michael James; Belford, Pauline


Michael James Heron

Pauline Belford


The recent death of a Volkswagen worker at the hand of a factory robot has resulted in a number of editorials and opinion pieces discussing moral responsibility and robots. In this short response piece we outline some of the wider context of this discussion, with reference to the classic ethical study the Case of the Killer Robot. We argue that there is a growing need for the field of computer ethics to consider with some urgency what it means to be a responsible moral agent when tragic events occur, and to what extent it makes sense to 'blame the robot'.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 11, 2015
Journal ACM SIGCAS computers and society
Print ISSN 0095-2737
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 4
Pages 4-6
Institution Citation HERON, M.J. and BELFORD, P. 2015. Fuzzy ethics: or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bot. ACM SIGCAS computers and society [online], 45(4), pages 4-6. Available from:
Keywords Ethics; Morality; Professional issues; Killer robot; Case of the killer robot; Volkswagen


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