Schlagworte: Animal Ethics

AI’s Next Ethical Challenge

Parallel to his work in machine ethics, Oliver Bendel is trying to establish animal-machine interaction (AMI) as a discipline. He was very impressed by Clara Mancini’s paper „Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI): A Manifesto“ on animal-computer interaction. In his AMI research, he mainly investigates robots, gadgets, and devices and their behavior towards animals. There are not only moral questions, but also questions concerning the design of outer appearance and the ability to speak. The general background for his considerations is that more and more machines and animals meet in closed, half-open and open worlds. He believes that semi-autonomous and autonomous systems should have rules so that they treat animals well. They should not disturb, frighten, injure or kill them. Examples are toy robots, domestic robots, service robots in shopping malls and agricultural robots. Jackie Snow, who writes for New York Times, National Geographic, and Wall Street Journal, has talked to several experts about the topic. In an article for Fast Company, she quotes the ethicists Oliver Bendel and Peter Singer. Clara Mancini is also expressing her point of view. The article with the title „AI’s next ethical challenge: how to treat animals“ can be downloaded here.

Fig.: A couple of elephants

Smart Machines and Save Animals

„With a few decades, autonomous and semi-autonomous machines will be found throughout Earth’s environments, from homes and gardens to parks and farms and so-called working landscapes – everywhere, really, that humans are found, and perhaps even places we’re not. And while much attention is given to how those machines will interact with people, far less is paid to their impacts on animals.“ (Anthropocene, October 10, 2018) „Machines can disturb, frighten, injure, and kill animals,“ says Oliver Bendel, an information systems professor at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, according to the magazine. „Animal-friendly machines are needed.“ (Anthropocene, October 10, 2018) In the article „Will smart machines be kind to animals?“ the magazine Anthropocene deals with animal-friendly machines and introduces the work of the scientist. It is based on his paper „Towards animal-friendly machines“ (Paladyn) and an interview conducted by journalist Brandon Keim with Oliver Bendel. More via

Fig.: Also a cat can be safe, even on the street

Die Verbindung von Tier- und Maschinenethik

In der Zeitschrift „Artificial Intelligence & Society“ ist im Dezember 2013 der Artikel „Considerations about the relationship between animal and machine ethics“ von Oliver Bendel erschienen. Es ist einer der ersten Beiträge, der Tierethik und Maschinenethik in einen Zusammenhang stellt. Im Abstract heißt es: „Ethics researches morality in respect to humans and animals. Usually, it implies human morality; therefore, the focus is on human–human relationships (generally in ethics) and human–animal relationships (in animal ethics). Ethics can also deal with the morality of machines such as unmanned aerial vehicles, robots and agents or of self-driving cars and computers in automated trading, in other words more or less autonomous systems and programs.“ Auf solche Systeme wird eingegangen, aber nicht im Verhältnis zum Menschen, sondern zum Tier. Und das ist innerhalb der Maschinenethik neu: „Machine ethics almost exclusively concentrates on machine–human relationships rather than on machine–animal relationships. Before this background, this article contributes some basic considerations about the relationship between animal and machine ethics.“ Am Rande wird eine Disziplin der Tier-Maschine-Interaktion (Animal-Machine Interaction) vorgeschlagen. „Considerations about the relationship between animal and machine ethics“ ist als „Online-First“-Beitrag auf SpringerLink verfügbar.