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We are only in the earliest stages of so-called algorithmic regulation – intelligent machines deploying big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to regulate human behaviour and enforce laws – but it already has profound implications for the relationship between private citizens and the state.

By Christoph Salge, Marie Curie Global Fellow, University of Hertfordshire

How do you stop a robot from hurting people? Many existing robots, such as those assembling cars in factories, shut down immediately when a human comes near. But this quick fix wouldn’t work for something like a self-driving car that might have to move to avoid a collision, or a care robot that might need to catch an old person if they fall. With robots set to become our servants, companions and co-workers, we need to deal with the increasingly complex situations this will create and the ethical and safety questions this will raise.

Join us at the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2017) for a full day workshop that will bring together international stakeholders in robotics to examine best practices for accelerating robotics innovation through strategic policy frameworks.

Last week I had the pleasure of debating the question “does AI pose a threat to society?” with friends and colleagues Christian List, Maja Pantic and Samantha Payne. The event was organised by the British Academy and brilliantly chaired by the Royal Society’s director of science policy Claire Craig. Here follows my opening statement:

Robots are the technology of the future. But the current legal system is incapable of handling them. This generic statement is often the premise for considerations about the possibility of awarding rights (and liabilities) to these machines at some, less-than clearly identified, point in time. Discussing the adequacy of existing regulation in accommodating new technologies is certainly necessary, but the ontological approach is incorrect. Andrea Bertolini explains.

The law currently recognizes individuals like you and me. Also companies, organizations and governments can negotiate agreements and liability. These non-natural persons are represented by real people (they should be controlled after all). But what about autonomous systems that take over tasks and make intelligent decisions that might be interpreted as a legal act?

Whether or not an artificial intelligence (AI) ought to be granted patent rights is a timely dilemma given the increasing proliferation of AI in the workplace. Ronald Yu discusses.

by   -   February 22, 2017

If a machine can think, decide and act on its own volition, if it can be harmed or held responsible for its actions, should we stop treating it like property and start treating it more like a person with rights?

In this interview, Dr. Yueh-Hsuan Weng invites Prof. Ronald C. Arkin, Executive Committee Member of IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems, to share his insights on roboethics, with a focus on its technical aspects, military and caregiver applications..

IEEE-main-AI-ethics-2016
Image: IEEE

On the 15th November 2016, the IEEE’s AI and Ethics Summit posed the question: “Who does the thinking?” In a series of key-note speeches and lively panel discussions, leading technologists, legal thinkers, philosophers, social scientists, manufacturers and policy makers considered such issues as:

  • The social, technological and philosophical questions orbiting AI.
  • Proposals to program ethical algorithms with human values to machines.
  • The social implications of the applications of AI.

With machine intelligence emerging as an essential tool in many aspects of modern life, Alan Winfield discusses autonomous sytems, safety and regulation.

by   -   January 20, 2017

world-economic-forum-2017-theresa-may

The population of the scenic ski-resort Davos, nestled in the Swiss Alps, swelled by nearly +3,000 people between the 17th and 20th of January. World leaders, academics, business tycoons, press and interlopers of all varieties were drawn to the 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting. The WEF is the foremost creative force for engaging the world’s top leaders in collaborative activities to shape the global, regional and industry agendas for the coming year and beyond. Perhaps unsurprisingly given recent geopolitical events, the theme of this year’s forum was Responsive and Responsible Leadership.

by   -   January 10, 2017
Image: Gerd Altmann
Image: Gerd Altmann

The MIT Media Lab and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University will serve as the founding anchor institutions for a new initiative aimed at bridging the gap between the humanities, the social sciences, and computing by addressing the global challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) from a multidisciplinary perspective.

A robot hands a medication bottle to a person. Photo credit: Keith Bujak. Source: Georgia Tech News Center
A robot hands a medication bottle to a person. Photo credit: Keith Bujak. Source: Georgia Tech News Center

The Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Social Robots in Healthcare and Education Workshop (also called ELS Workshop) was held in Yokohama the 14th Nov 2016 during the JSAI-isAI Conference. The workshop was twinned with another workshop in the New Friends Conference in Barcelona the 2nd Nov 2016.

pepper_aldebaran_softbank_2

Sophisticated household robots are only just starting to show up in our lives, but all the building blocks for a veritable “Cambrian explosion” of robotics are there, as Gill Pratt described it when he was running the recent DARPA Robotics Challenge. The service robotics industry is emerging, and we will soon be seeing robots of all shapes and sizes making their first forays into our everyday lives.



High-Performance Autonomous Vehicles
October 14, 2017


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