Robot Ethics

Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford

24 Jan 2019
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Prof. Alan Winfield
Bristol Robotics Lab, University of the West of England

Like any transformative technology, intelligent robotics has the potential for huge benefit, but is not without ethical or societal risk. In this lecture I will explore two questions. Firstly, the increasingly urgent question of the ethical use of robots: are there particular applications of robots that should be proscribed, in eldercare, or surveillance, or war fighting for example? When intelligent autonomous robots make mistakes – as they inevitably will, who should be held to account? Secondly, I will consider the longer-term question of whether intelligent robots themselves could or should be ethical. Seventy years ago Isaac Asimov created his fictional Three Laws of Robotics. Is there now a realistic prospect that we could build a robot that is Three Laws Safe?

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