People seek retribution

Danaher argues that people have an innate social desire for retribution in the event of morally harmful actions. This is likely caused by our tendency to attach “agency” to otherwise inanimate objects and use them as objects of attribution. Additionally, punishment and blame is pervasive across cultures and proportional to wrongdoing and blameworthiness. This state of affair arguably makes the problem of autonomous robots frustrating, because there’s no clear retributive response. Danaher captures this frustration in what he calls the retribution gap.

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