Ethics is sometimes considered to be too abstract to be meaningfully implemented in artificial intelligence (AI). In this paper, we reflect on other aspects of computing that were previously considered to be very abstract. Yet, these are now accepted as being done very well by computers. These tasks have ranged from multiple aspects of software engineering to mathematics to conversation in natural language with humans. This was done by automating the simplest possible step and then building on it to perform more complex tasks. We wonder if ethical AI might be similarly achieved and advocate the process of automation as key step in making AI take ethical decisions. The key contribution of this paper is to reflect on how automation was introduced into domains previously considered too abstract for computers.