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Machine Ethics: Essence and Rationale Research Paper


This research undertaking seeks to underscore the importance of machines in modern societal engagements. It covers numerous areas that embody the application of machines in performing functions similar to those undertaken by human beings. This essay also looks at various aspects that manifest as core considerations with regard to the use of machines in social contexts. Primarily, it focuses on machine ethics because it is increasingly gaining acceptance in realms of technological developments. This gives rise to various ethical thresholds that ultimately govern the creation of systems that support the application of machines in daily human undertakings. It also covers issues surrounding decision-making skills and their influence on technological systems. Generally, this essay covers all aspects that embody ethics in the development of artificial intelligence.


The issue of machine ethics is complex and elaborate in various ways. People hold divergent views and ideals with regard to the existence and propagation of machine ethics. Proponents argue that it exists because the minds of human beings operate on the basis of machine principles. They elucidate basic similarities between machines and people in various situations (Gardner, 2011). According to this premise, it is possible to compare machines and humans in terms of operational and other relevant existential parameters. On the other hand, opponents argue that machine ethics does not exist due to the emotional aspect of ethical considerations. According to this school of thought, it is untenable for machines to harbor ethical parameters because they lack emotions and other related feelings (Gardner, 2011).

Such arguments precipitate heated discourse among experts and scholars in this area of interest. Discussions and arguments in this area seek to establish a rationale for machine ethics in order to facilitate the construction and rationalization of ideas and thoughts in support of counter-arguments (Gardner, 2011). However, it is important to note that such undertakings cannot materialize without proper understanding with regard to issues and realities that characterize machine ethics. As earlier mentioned, machine ethics is a complex area of interest because it arouses interest from various facets of social agency (Gardner, 2011).

It creates excitement and enthusiasm due to its role in a current societal dispensation where technology acts as a benchmark for all pertinent and crucial undertakings. Technological advancements continue to play an integral role in creating the impetus for action and reaction to issues that manifest in contemporary society. Various attempts to understand machine ethics and its inherent dynamics are indicative of how such issues influence decision-making and opinion in social contexts (Gardner, 2011).

Ethical Considerations and Decision Dynamics in Machine Ethics

Most submissions on technology and values revolve around ethicality and other connotations that embody such areas of interest. People usually view technology from non-ethical backgrounds because of their inclination towards practical application. In most technological contexts, products bear other aspects of consideration, such as practicality, aesthetics, and economical reliability (Gardner, 2011).

Ethical aspects of technology require elaborate probe and understanding with regard to how they interrelate in enhancing the progress and propagation of various thresholds that manifest its essence. In most cases, manufacturers evaluate the overall efficacy of technological devices without considering their compliance and relevance to ethical considerations (Gardner, 2011). Such processes engage in dichotomous evaluations regarding the suitability and ability of gadgets to perform basic functions in their realm of existence. Ethicists and scientific experts hold divergent ideals and aspirations with regard to domains that are foremost in determining quality and compliance. It is important to note that such undertakings take place in a situation that requires interrogation and scientific probity in order to guarantee accuracy and precision (Gardner, 2011).

Devoid of such action, it would be difficult for experts to institute and sustain a multidisciplinary approach to ethical issues that manifest with regard to technological devices. Developments that relate to computer technology are bound to take a certain orientation towards achieving basic goals and objectives. This means that such programs suffice to perform basic and fundamental functions (Gardner, 2011).

Therefore, people gauge them according to standards set by the initial function as articulated by their architects. Whenever they fail to satisfy the intended purpose, they suffice as weak and inadequate. However, if they perform their functions devoid of failure, they qualify as effective and sustainable. It is difficult for people to gauge and view such devices in terms of ethical orientation. This reality necessitates deep foray into issues and aspects that relate to the ethicality of technological entities (Gardner, 2011).

Normative parameters are important in determining people’s views and relation to technological entities. If such entities fulfill their intended purposes, they suffice as effective and dependable. Therefore, it is right to argue that people set such thresholds depending on how well such gadgets relate to the original idea behind their construction. The aforementioned examples are indicative of total disregard for ethics and other areas that view machines in a different manner. Therefore, experts should develop consistent systems that support a deeper understanding with regard to essence and rationale for such important areas as machine ethics (Storrs, 2007).

Failure to develop such areas can lead to extreme ramifications with regard to thresholds that govern and determine the existence and propagation of technological gadgets in modern society. Technology is a complex and dynamic field that often faces upsurge in internal efforts to entrench and guarantee its propagation and sustenance in a volatile society (Storrs, 2007). This necessitates the establishment of safeguards against exploitation and abuse by unscrupulous individuals in social contexts. As much as people may apply technology in machines, it is important to ensure and guarantee ethical considerations that could have negative implications with regard to future engagements (Storrs, 2007).

Current trends gear towards the creation of structural frameworks that seek to demystify various ethical aspects that relate to the development and propagation of machines and technological devices. Such efforts are vital and necessary because they facilitate studies that give credence to current information regarding this field (Storrs, 2007).

There is a need to deviate from trends that quantify the efficacy of technological gadgets based on their ability to fulfill basic operational functions. Propagation leads to confusion and misunderstanding with regard to how machines relate to human existence in society (Storrs, 2007). Observers approve the recurrent desire for channels of knowledge and research in order to deepen understanding with regard to machine ethics. Interdisciplinary efforts should synchronize ideas in order to achieve holistic thresholds of technological knowledge (Storrs, 2007).

Machine ethics should apply to computer technology because it is a permanent feature in contemporary society. Computers have the ability to perform virtually all basic functions that relate to human existence and operation in the society. They have capacity to support functions that closely link to human actions and reactions in various situations (Storrs, 2007). Such knowledge enables creation of robotic features that mimic human beings in a major way. Such undertakings create awareness of the extent to which technology influences most activities that take place in social contexts. The concept of machine ethics preoccupies with the relationship between human beings and machine actions in various contextual thresholds (Storrs, 2007).

Modern robotic gadgets primarily suffice to undertake functions similar to those prescribed to human beings. The traditional sense of machine and robotic actions anchors on discrepancies that jeopardize holistic foray into actualization and propagation of intelligent entities (Storrs, 2007).

Computer technology acts as a bridge between tasks that would otherwise prove difficult for human beings. This underscores the overall importance of technological intelligence in performing functions that enhance efficiency in the society. Technological experts should strive to pursue concurrent development of both fields to ensure a smooth transition from traditional technology to modern technology that harbors formidable levels of intelligence and wherewithal (Storrs, 2007). In absence of such efforts, humanity is prone to technological developments that portend destructive effects. There are experts who link machine ethics to the traditionally acclaimed computer ethics. Under this premise, computers act as facilitators of development because they guarantee speed and appropriate propagation of basic functions within specific and general realms of engagement (Storrs, 2007).

This reasoning is accurate because it casts computers as agents of action in situations that would be difficult for human beings. In fact, computers make work easier through elaborate systems that suffice as solutions to complex situations (Singer, 2009). This makes it possible for human beings to undertake programs and challenges that gear towards ameliorating definite situations and occurrences in the society. The essence of machine ethics is still subject to heated discourse among experts and scholars who spend time as they strive to draw definite conclusions and justifications with regard to essence of its propagation (Singer, 2009). Experts also explore the relevance of machine intelligence and its bearing on ethical considerations that suffice in its execution. Decision-making is an important aspect in the study of machines and various capabilities that embody its actualization (Singer, 2009).

In most cases, machines have the ability to propagate commands and prompts that ultimately replicate human actions. Current developments in technology and assembly are critical because they lead to creation of technological entities that bear close semblance to basic functions performed by human beings (Singer, 2009).

Ethical Theories in Machine Ethics

Ethical theories are germane paradigms of discourse that seek to rationalize and offer justifications with regard to issues that manifest in the society. They embody basic principles that characterize thresholds of determining just and moral actions in social contexts. Ethical analysis creates room for interrogation and introspection on how human beings engage each other in dealing with vital aspects of human existence in the contemporary society (Singer, 2004).

Ethical theories and perspectives create impetus for action regarding overall relevance and moral justification of human actions. Machine ethics embodies important facets of human existence because of numerous realities that characterize operations within societal settings. Theories that suffice as ethical thresholds of human action play an important role in propagating and sustaining probity in vital spheres that manifest in daily human undertakings (Singer, 2004). An example of ethical theories that apply in machine ethics is utilitarianism. This ethical premise revolves around perpetual pursuit for happiness by human beings. This perspective gives credence to perceptions that support decisions and actions that may not auger with norms and expectations as long as they offer room for maximum benefits and enjoyment (Singer, 2004).

Under such circumstance, this ethical perspective allows people to pursue options that maximize happiness regardless of the overall price or cost for such choices. The hedonistic version of this premise impresses upon avoidance of suffering through actions that pursue happiness and human glory (Singer, 2004). With regard to machine ethics, this premise augments an overall pursuit of happiness in disregard of implications that may arise from such undertakings. It is unethical for human beings to pursue creation of machines that fail to recognize the essence of ethical conduct in performing their functions (Singer, 2004). Such machines would portend serious ramifications with regard to execution and actualization of their core functions in relation to their normative design and threshold of operation. It is important to note the role of ethics in governing and protecting appropriate areas of conduct in social contexts (Singer, 2004).

In most cases, tenets of utilitarianism suffice as self-destructive and detrimental to overall aspects of ethical conduct in the society. Therefore, machines that fail to comply with ethical codes of conduct do not suffice as facilitators of proper human conduct in social thresholds of existence (Singer, 2004). Development of machines should be rational and cognizant to ideals that govern human actions and reactions to situations that prevail in the contemporary society. If machines lack moral and ethical codes, it is likely that they could turn against people by executing actions that fail to uphold and consolidate the existent moral codes of conduct in different situations (Singer, 2004).

Justification for machine ethics should revolve around creation of systems that guarantee favorable actions and reactions with regard to technological gadgets and machines. This reality validates various sentiments that gear towards realization of vital gains in the realm of interaction between machines and human beings (Singer, 2004). Another important theoretical premise is Deontologicalism. This premise quantifies an action with regard to compliance with existent rules and regulations. It amplifies various frameworks that define and validate human actions in social contexts. This theoretical premise is very applicable to machine ethics because it impresses upon development of machines that act in accordance with moral and ethical guidelines that characterize human existence in society (Singer, 2004).

Virtue ethics theory is also very relevant to machine ethics. This theory impresses upon adherence to regulations that govern human existence in society. It anchors various provisions that seek to guarantee positive action and involvement in societal engagements. The above ethical theories demonstrate the essence for machine ethics as a component of human existence in society (Singer, 2004).

Decision- Making in Machine Ethics

Decision-making in machine ethics is a vital area of interest because it embodies numerous aspects that define core functions of machines in facilitating human actions in the society. It ascertains basic thresholds of functional areas with regard to technological entities. In most cases, experts strive to develop machines that are very accurate on performance and diligence (Georges, 2003). It is important to create machines with systems that appreciate the role of technology in complementing and enhancing human actions and reactions to various prompts that characterize human deliberations in social contexts. Most machines have the ability to decipher and interpret situations that require action (Georges, 2003).

Technological devices operate based on command systems that recognize various cues and prompts to action. Devoid of such accuracy and intelligence, machines can hardly fulfill their basic mandate as aids to complement human actions. Computers have the ability to perform virtually all basic functions that relate to human existence and operation in the society (Georges, 2003). They have the capacity to support functions that closely link to human actions and reactions in various situations. Such undertakings create awareness on the extent to which technology influences most activities that take place in social contexts (Georges, 2003).

The concept of machine ethics preoccupies with the relationship between human beings and machine actions in various contextual thresholds. Modern robotic gadgets primarily suffice to undertake functions that are similar to those prescribed to human beings. Such levels of decision-making are important and supportive of endeavors that seek to entrench use of machines in diverse fields of interest in the society (Georges, 2003).


Due to its wide and detailed orientation, machine ethics has a potential to inspire divergent opinions with regard to its essence and rationale in the contemporary society. Its explanation and justification revolves around numerous areas of interest such as ethics, morality, sociology, philosophy, and religion. Therefore, the discourse regarding machine ethics should focus on its relevance and inclination towards a positive contribution to the society (Gardner, 2011). Perpetual probe into machine ethics is responsible for current efforts that seek to decipher and consolidate latent effects that manifest due to technological advancements in the contemporary society. In absence of such efforts, it would be difficult for stakeholders to quantify goodwill and benefits that accrue from technological advancements (Gardner, 2011).

It is important to ensure and guarantee ethical parameters that seek to entrench accountability and accuracy in situations where computers have a wider threshold in decision-making. Most technological platforms comprise activities that depend on computers as key components of decision-making. Lack of regulatory efforts could expose such systems to failure and unethical outcomes. Therefore, understanding machine ethics is an important area of interest for stakeholders and other parties involved in actualization and propagation of technology in the contemporary society (Gardner, 2011).


Gardner, A. (2011). An Artificial Approach to Reasoning. Cambridge: MIT Press. Web.

Georges, T (2003). Digital Soul: Intelligent Machines and Human Values. Cambridge: West View Press. Web.

Singer, M. (2004). The Role of Subjective Concerns and Characteristics of the Moral Issue in Moral Considerations. British Journal of Psychiatry, 89 (3), 663–679. Web.

Singer, P. (2009). Wired for war: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century. London: Penguin. Web.

Storrs, J. (2007). Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine. Newyork: Prometheus Books. Web.

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