48:59 minutes (23.51 MB)
Download this Episode
Star Trek. Wall-E. Terminator. There are no shortage of movies in which computers take on a mind of their own. But could this scenario happen in real life?
Even if true morality for machines is a long way in the future, Wendell Wallach thinks it's necessary to build a kind of functional morality - in which artificial moral agents have some basic ethical sensitivity.
Author of Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong, Wallach recognizes that the world is increasingly populated with computers making decisions that have life and death consequences. He says there is potential for major disaster unless morality can be programmed into machines.
But whose morality? And is morality even possible to compute? Join the conversation!
This episode originally aired May 26, 2009.