For the upcoming book Next Generation Ethics: Engineering a Better Society I presented a new hypothesis for understanding ethics: what if ethics is an evolved social behavior? This idea has far-reaching implications.
First off, it provides a science-based explanation for how ethics emerged. This does not preclude divine action (which could have set everything in motion), but it does provide a framework for thinking about how ethics came about and how it progresses. Put briefly, if an evolutionary mechanism is at work, then ethics would develop according to the advantages or disadvantages it creates for an organism in its environment.
In a new paper just out, I apply this hypothesis to how one would design better ethics into a human or artificial cognitive system. The process would be the same: if ethics is driven by the advantages or disadvantages it creates, then incentives and feedback would be key. But how to think about the advantages or disadvantages for what? We likewise need a framework for thinking broadly about the advantages and disadvantages.
I cover both of these in this new paper, which was published as part of the 2019 International Conference in Intelligent Human/System Interaction. The actual paper appeared in Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, a Springer publication.
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