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From high frequency trading to self-organizing moral machines

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A.F. Lier,van, | Article | Publication date: 15 January 2016
Technology is responsible for major systemic changes within the global financial sector in general and particularly in the trade in financial products. The global financial sector has already developed into a comprehensive network of mutually connected people and computers that are constantly evaluating and approving millions of transactions. Algorithms play a crucial role within this global financial network. An algorithm is in essence merely a set of instructions developed by one or more people with the intention of having these instructions performed by a machine such as a computer, a software robot or a physical robot in order to realize an ideal result. As part of a development in which we as human beings have ever higher expectations of algorithms and these algorithms become ever more autonomous in their actions, we cannot avoid including possibilities in these algorithms that enable ethical or more considerations. To develop this ethical or moral consideration, we need a kind of ethical framework which can be used for developing algorithms. With the development of such a framework we can start to think about what we as human beings consider to be moral action by machines within the financial sector based on such a framework.

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