Concepts of Ethics and Their Application to AI

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Artificial Intelligence".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2022) | Viewed by 1801

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Philosophy Department, Rivier University, 420 South Main Street, Nashua, NH 03060, USA
Interests: information and computer ethics; AI ethics; privacy; data (science) ethics; public health ethics; ethical aspects of emerging technologies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ 07102, USA
Interests: information and computer ethics; machine ethics; privacy; ethical aspects of bioinformatics; computational genomics; emerging technologies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We invite you to submit a paper for consideration in our Special Issue on “Concepts of Ethics and Their Application to AI”. This Special Issue of Information examines a wide range of ethical aspects of AI, both at the theoretical and applied ethics levels.

Theoretical–ethical topics include but are not limited to the following eleven questions:

  1. Are there concepts in ethics that need be revised to be successfully applied to AI ethical issues?
  2. Do (at least some) developments in AI raise any new or unique ethical issues?
  3. Do we need a new kind of ethical framework/theory to handle (at least some of) the ethical issues generated by AI?
  4. Can an AI entity, in principle, be a (fully) autonomous agent?
  5. Can a sophisticated AI entity, in principle, ever qualify as a moral agent?
  6. Can AI entities/systems be trustworthy (i.e., can they exhibit moral trust, as distinct from mere reliability)?
  7. Is a sophisticated AI entity capable of making a (genuine) moral decision?
  8. Should (at least some) AI entities be granted full-fledged rights?
  9. Do (at least some) AI entities deserve some degree of moral consideration (e.g., as “moral patients”) even if they do not qualify for rights)?
  10. Do we need a (separate/distinct) Code of Ethics for AI Professionals?
  11. Is a separate field of AI Ethics needed, or can it be subsumed under the more general and broader categories of information/computer ethics?

Applied ethics concerns affecting AI include but are not limited to the following eleven questions:

  1. To what extent, if any, can the kinds of current AI technologies/applications used in both corporate and governmental sectors for surveillance purposes be justified?
  2. Which kinds of regulations need to be in place to counter the current and future security-related threats to Smart cars and Smart Homes?
  3. In which morally problematic ways can the use of AI-specific algorithms exacerbate the kinds of privacy concerns generated by Big Data (and how might any of these concerns be positively addressed in social policy)?
  4. Who is responsible for the reliability of AI-related life/safety-critical applications used in the medical field?
  5. Are there any specific engineering matters in AI that raise ethical issues?
  6. How much autonomy (i.e., in terms of degrees of autonomy) is it morally permissible to build into AI entities/systems?
  7. Should we develop AI systems capable of being “independent moral reasoners”?
  8. Which kinds of moral obligations do we (humans) have to the kinds of highly sophisticated (human-like) AI entities being developed now and in the near future?
  9. Will (at least some) humans become marginalized, if not altogether obsolete, in the AI era?
  10. What will the likely outcome be for the future of democracies (in nation states) in the AI era?
  11. Should we develop AI systems that can “learn” (to improve its performance) at an exponentially explosive rate?

By no means are the above kinds of theoretical and applied ethics questions intended to be exhaustive.

Prof. Dr. Herman Tavani
Dr. Jeffrey Buechner
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • AI
  • ethics
  • moral responsibility
  • machine ethics
  • robo-ethics
  • moral demands
  • ethical and moral concepts

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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