Chris Santos-Lang, an early contributor to bottom-up theories for developing moral machines, has a new article online titled, Advancing Ethics.
Much as we have good reason to think we can invest intelligently in science to get technological rewards, we have offered good reason to think one can invest intelligently in ethics to improve decision-making. It would be reckless and naive, in our advanced society, to continue thinking of ethics as an obscure academic interest, a mere set of intellectual games, or theological controversies far beyond our comprehension and removed from the economic realities that dominate real life. Ethics, just like transportation, agriculture, commerce, education and health, deserves our attention in a practical and future-oriented way. Just as a department of commerce must be careful about affiliating with any particular existing business, a department of ethics would have to be careful about affiliating with any particular religion or system of rules, but that would not stop it from monitoring the ethical ecosystem (especially warning about dramatic changes) just as we monitor commerce.