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#Robotsandyou: Help drive the discussion on the ethics of cognitive systems and robotics

October 11, 2013


On the 23 and 24th of October researchers in cognitive systems will meet in Brighton to discuss the social and ethical implications of their work. The conference is organized by EUCognition, the European Network for the Advancement of Artificial Cognitive Systems, Interaction and Robotics, and the objective is to provide a forum to share the different perceptions about what the effects of our research will be – preferably  before we face the consequences.We have included an online component of the conference so that we might include different voices in the discussion: #robotsandyou is a platform to post questions and comments on the social and ethical aspects of cognitive systems (people can also participate through Twitter using the hashtag #robotsandyou).

The platform is open now so that we can engage with communities that are affected by our research in advance of the meeting.  Selected comments and questions will be the basis of discussion at the meeting, culminating in a panel discussion that will involve experts from outside the cognitive systems community.  In these ways, the public will help drive the discussion of the Brighton conference.

Cognitive Systems: Responsible Innovation

We believe that it’s important to reflect upon our field, include new voices in the debate and try to anticipate the outcomes of our research. That’s why we would like to encourage everyone to use the site to post questions, answer them and vote comments up or down to contribute to the discussion. The main topics of the conference are military robotics,  health and assisted living, privacy and security and cognitive systems in Industry. Check the full programme on our website.

But more than that, we are asking ourselves how to collectively drive science and innovation in the present so that we may take care of the future. How could different cognitive systems affect society, and how should this drive the research goals in the present? How do different sectors of society hope to benefit from cognitive systems? What are their concerns about these technologies? How might those hopes and concerns be used to inform cognitive systems research and the way it presents itself to society at large?

Share your thoughts on the social and ethical impact of cognitive systems by tweeting, or leave your comments on the EUCognition website, or in the discussion panel below.

Ron Chrisley
guest author
Ron Chrisley is both the Director of COGS (the Centre for Research in Cognitive Science) and a faculty member of the Sackler Centre for Conscious Science at the University of Sussex.

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