SEP 08, 2018 11:16 PM PDT

Creating Animal-Friendly Machines

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Image Source/Credit: South Bend Tribune

A fairly young and dynamic discipline, the study of machine ethics is geared towards humans. However, now the field is being pushed towards animals to protect them from harm since they cannot make ethical decisions on their own. Semi-autonomous and autonomous machines and robots may be used as moral machines using annotated decision trees that contain ethical assumptions or justifications for animal interactions. There has been several prototypes of semi-autonomous and autonomous machines that were developed by FHNW University in Brugg-Windisch, Switzerland with the intentions of not startling wild animals. These prototypes include “ladybird-friendly robot vacuum cleaner, a self-driving car, a drone study for nature photography and advanced driver assistance systems”.

In the article "Towards animal-friendly machines", written by Professor Oliver Bendel of the FHNW School of Business and published in the Journal of Behavioral Robotics, described how annotated decision trees intended for animal-friendly moral machines are now being created and compared while developing moral justifications transparent.

Credit: Animals Worlds

To illustrate, the modeling for the drone was created to ignore humans and to avoid harming flying birds as well as identifying skittish animals and only photographing them from an appropriate height. Another example is the robot vacuum cleaner which was programmed to identify ladybirds by their color, and instructed to stop vacuuming until an insect has moved away. Furthermore, the owner of a machine can control the morality of a machine by presetting it to spare ladybirds, but instead to set it to vacuum undesirable insects and other invasive species. Although this does not seem to be animal-friendly it can be justified if it includes harm and danger, such as a vermin-free house.

"Both robotics and computer science must be sensitized to animal protection and advocates for animal ethics should follow developments in robotics and artificial intelligence and should be involved in both," explains Professor Bendel.

Source: De Gruyter

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
APR 22, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
Researchers Generate Quantum Light - A Step towards Faster Quantum Computers
APR 22, 2022
Researchers Generate Quantum Light - A Step towards Faster Quantum Computers
The ongoing data revolution will need a faster and larger number of supercomputing facilities. Our present “classi ...
MAY 13, 2022
Neuroscience
Brain Area for Reward Perception 10% Larger in Psychopaths
MAY 13, 2022
Brain Area for Reward Perception 10% Larger in Psychopaths
The striatum- a region in the brain that coordinates decision-making, motivation, and reward perception, among other thi ...
MAY 13, 2022
Health & Medicine
Oldest Brain Surgery in North America
MAY 13, 2022
Oldest Brain Surgery in North America
A hole in the forehead of an old skull from northwest Alabama may not seem significant, but this is no ordinary hole. Th ...
MAY 18, 2022
Earth & The Environment
Landslides can have a major impact on glacier melt and movement
MAY 18, 2022
Landslides can have a major impact on glacier melt and movement
When we think of glaciers, horrifying images of them receding into the water because of climate change immediately come ...
MAY 17, 2022
Space & Astronomy
The Pioneering Project to Change How We Predict Space Weather
MAY 17, 2022
The Pioneering Project to Change How We Predict Space Weather
Researchers from West Virginia University (WVU) are leading a project that will improve our understanding of “spac ...
MAY 24, 2022
Earth & The Environment
Why are volcanoes so awesome?
MAY 24, 2022
Why are volcanoes so awesome?
Volcanic eruptions are one of the most awe-inspiring spectacles to witness. You are literally watching Earth at work as ...
Loading Comments...