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by   -   March 14, 2014


The lay notion of how human communication works is, basically, that we exchange packages of information that are encoded and then decoded in our heads using language. But it just takes a little observation to see that this “computer metaphor” just doesn’t apply to the human way of communicating. We can’t reduce communication to a transfer of abstract information, and the same happens to be true of human-machine communication if we expect it to be of any use.

I’ve been talking about robot ethics for several years now, but that’s mostly been about how we roboticists must be responsible and mindful of the societal impact of our creations. Two years ago I wrote – in my Very Short Introduction to Robotics – that robots cannot be ethical. Since then I’ve completely changed my mind*. I now think there is a way of making a robot that is at least minimally ethical. It’s a huge technical challenge which, in turn, raises new ethical questions. For instance: if we can build ethical robots, should we? Must we..? Would we have an ethical duty to do so? After all, the alternative would be to build amoral robots. Or, would building ethical robots create a new set of ethical problems? An ethical Pandora’s box.

by   -   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).

Marsupial Robots
September 14, 2021

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