Moral AI

Moral AI

And How We Get There


A balanced and thought-provoking guide to all the big questions about AI and ethics

Can computers understand morality? Can they respect privacy? And what can we do to make AI safe and fair?

The artificial intelligence revolution has begun. Today, there are self-driving cars on our streets, autonomous weapons in our armies, robot surgeons in our hospitals – and AI's presence in our lives will only increase. Some see this as the dawn of a new era in innovation and ease; others are alarmed by its destructive potential. But one thing is clear: this is a technology like no other, one that raises profound questions about the very definitions of human intelligence and morality.

In Moral AI, world-renowned researchers in moral psychology, philosophy, and artificial intelligence – Jana Schaich Borg, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Vincent Conitzer – tackle these thorny issues head-on. Writing lucidly and calmly, they lay out the recent advances in this still nascent field, peeling away the exaggeration and misleading arguments. Instead, they offer clear examinations of the moral concerns at the heart of AI programs, from racial equity to personal privacy, fake news to autonomous weaponry. Ultimately, they argue that artificial intelligence can be built and used safely and ethically, but that its potential cannot be achieved without careful reflection on the values we wish to imbue it with. This is an essential primer for any thinking person.


  • A stimulating analysis of moral dilemmas in AI with snippets of both good and bad AI-related news — from the worlds of art, environment, investment, law, media, medicine, the military, politics and more

About the authors

Jana Schaich Borg

Jana Schaich Borg is an Associate Research Professor at the Social Science Research Institute, Duke University.
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Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is the Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. His books include Think Again and Moral Skepticisms.
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Vincent Conitzer

Vincent Conitzer is Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, where he directs the Foundations of Cooperative AI Lab. He is also Head of Technical AI Engagement at the Institute for Ethics in AI, and a professor of computer science and philosophy at the University of Oxford.
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