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1 May 2019, 11 AM – 12 PM ET
View Event Recording | View Special Issue



Machine ethics is the study of how autonomous systems can be imbued with ethical values. Ethical autonomous systems are needed because, inevitably, near future systems are moral agents; consider driverless cars, or medical diagnosis AIs, both of which will need to make choices with ethical consequences. Although machine ethics has been the subject of theoretical and philosophical study for about twenty years, it is only in the past five years that proof-of-concept ethical machines have been demonstrated in the laboratory. This webinar aims to open a discussion of the interesting and difficult technical challenges of engineering ethical machines, alongside wider societal and regulatory questions of how such machines should be governed, if and when they find real-world application.

About the Presenters

Alan F. Winfield received the Ph.D. degree in digital communications from the University of Hull, Kingston upon Hull, U.K., in 1984. Dr. Winfield is Professor of Robot Ethics at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, U.K., Visiting Professor with the University of York, York, U.K, and Associate Fellow of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, Cambridge, U.K. Dr Winfield co-founded the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, UWE, where his research is focused on cognitive robotics. Until recently he was director of UWE’s Science Communication Unit. He has published over 240 works, including Robotics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2012). Dr. Winfield is an advocate for robot ethics; he is a member of the British Standards Institute working group that drafted BS 8611: Guide to the Ethical Design of Robots and Robotic Systems. He sits on the executive of the IEEE Standards Association Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, and chairs IEEE Working Group P7001, drafting a new standard on Transparency of Autonomous Systems.

Jean-François Bonnefon received a PhD in cognitive psychology and is a research director at TSE (CRM-CNRS-IAST). He received the bronze medal of the CNRS, is a senior associate editor of Cognition, and a member of several other editorial boards. His work appeared in 100+ publications, including articles in Science, Psychological Science, Psychological Review, and Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

Louise A. Dennis is a Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Liverpool. Her research falls at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Computational Proof with a particular emphasis on the design of verifiable autonomous systems and ethical machine reasoning. She is a member of the Embedding Values into Autonomous Intelligent Systems Committee of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems and the Working Group for the IEEE p7001 Transparency of Autonomous Systems. She has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh.

Sarah Spiekermann received the M.S. degree in economics from the European Business School ESCP-EAP (Paris, Berlin, Oxford) in 1997 and the Ph.D. degree in business informatics from the Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin, Germany, in 2001. She chairs the Institute for Information Systems and Society at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), Vienna, Austria. Before being tenured in Vienna in 2009, she was an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Information Systems, Humboldt University Berlin, where she headed the Berlin Research Centre on Internet Economics, from 2003 to 2009. She was Adjunct Visiting Research Professor with the Heinz College of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, from 2006 to 2009. Her main research interest is electronic privacy, disclosure behavior and ethical system design. She is an author of the textbook Ethical IT Innovation: A Value-based System Design Approach (London, U.K.: Taylor & Francis, 2016). Prof. Spiekermann is a co-chair of IEEE’s first standardization effort on ethical engineering (IEEE P7000). She has been published in leading IS and CS Journals including the Journal of Information Technology, the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Communications of the ACM, and the European Journal of IS, where she served as Editor until 2013.