I recently posed a puzzle about Kant's moral philosophy. The puzzle was this: if lying is always wrong, would it be wrong (according to Kant’s theory) to lie to a robot with speech technology who came to your door trying to locate innocent people who were hiding from a tyrannical government?
Many of you know by now that I’ve committed to presenting philosophical puzzles for the duration of the Corona crisis. This month's puzzle is somewhat sci-fi in nature, but not totally farfetched, as we’ll see. The motivating question is this: What should Kant say about lying to robots?
Sci-fi thriller I Am Mother is due out on Netflix tomorrow. It's a fantastic philosophical movie that raises all kinds of philosophical questions about abortion, reproduction, enhancement, population policy, and especially about what it means to be a good mother.
Is it ethical for robots to be caregivers? That's the question asked by the winner of Ireland's "Young Philosopher of the Year" award. The inspiration for his project came when his ailing grandfather fell in the middle of the night and was unable to reach the help button in his assisted living facility. He was found dead a day later.