Ethical Subroutines
The programming that makes AI not want to Kill All Humans


(permanent link) added: 2013-01-15 12:17:43 sponsor: fulltimeD (last reply: 2013-01-17 08:53:36)

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This is the programming that makes various types of Artificially Intelligent characters behave according to ethical parameters amenable to cohabitation with organic sentients. Whether it's a "Morality Chip," Ethical Subroutines, or the Three Laws of Robotics, it's a device or program that makes the AI character "friendly" to humans, even if the character is an emotionless android or other computer.

Subtrope of Restraining Bolt.

Examples

Literature
  • Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics.

Live-Action Television
  • Star Trek
    • Ethical subroutines are part of Data's programming.
    • They are also part of the Doctor's and other EMH's on Star Trek: Voyager. Villains frequently disable the Doctor's ethical subroutines which basically makes the EMH go psycho. Equinox's EMH was similarly ethically disabled by his own crew so that he would assist in experimenting on the nucleogenic beings whose remains they were using to power their warp drive.
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