Moral Coppélia: Affective moral reasoning with twofold autonomy and a touch of personality

M.A. Pontier, G.A.M. Widdershoven, J.F. Hoorn, J.L. Van Gelder, R.E. de Vries

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We present a moral reasoner, Moral Coppélia that combines rational ethical theory with affective states and personality traits. We, moreover, treat human autonomy in the sense of self-determination as well as making a meaningful choice. Our system combines connectionist bottom-up with utilitarian top-down approaches. Moral Coppélia can reproduce the verdicts of medical ethicists and health judges in real-life cases and can handle the emotional differences between logically identical problems such as the Trolley and Footbridge dilemma. It also deals with properties of character and personality such as honesty and humility to explain why logic reasoning is not always descriptive of actual human moral behavior. Apart from simulating known cases, we performed a split-half experiment with the responses of 153 participants in a criminal justice experiment. While fine-tuning the parameters to the first half of the data, the encompassing version of Moral Coppélia was capable of forecasting criminal decisions, leading to a better fit with the second half of the data than either of the loose component parts did. In other words, we found empirical support for the integral contribution of ratio, affect, and personality to moral decision making, which, additionally, could be acceptably simulated by our extended version of the Moral Coppélia system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAISB 2014
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 50th Anniversary Convention of the AISB
PublisherThe Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB)
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event50th Anniversary AISB Convention 2014 - Goldsmiths, University of London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Apr 20144 Apr 2014


Conference50th Anniversary AISB Convention 2014
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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