Keynote speakers

Ron Arkin, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Talk title: Lethal Autonomous Robots and the Plight of the Noncombatant
Abstract: Ongoing meetings of the United Nations in Geneva regarding the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons consider the many issues surrounding the use of lethal autonomous weapons systems from a variety of legal, ethical, operational, and technical perspectives. Over 80 nations are represented and engaged in the discussion. This talk reprises the issues the author broached regarding the role of lethal autonomous robotic systems and warfare, and how if they are developed appropriately they may have the ability to significantly reduce civilian casualties in the battlespace. This can lead to a moral imperative for their use, not unlike what Human Rights Watch has attributed regarding the use of precision-guided munitions in urban settings due to the enhanced likelihood of reduced noncombatant deaths. Nonetheless, if the usage of this technology is not properly addressed or is hastily deployed, it can lead to possible dystopian futures. This talk will encourage others to think of ways to approach the issues of restraining lethal autonomous systems from illegal or immoral actions in the context of both International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, whether through technology or legislation.


Joanna Bryson, University of Bath, UK
Talk title: Human Autonomy and the Hazards of Principle Agency in an Era of Expanding AI


Jaap Hage, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Talk title: Under which circumstances can we hold a machine responsible for its acts?


Amit Kumar Pandey, Aldebaran Robotics, France
Talk title: Contemporary Issues on Ethical Intelligence of a Socially Intelligent Consumer Robot 

Abstract: We are evolving, so as our society, lifestyle and the needs. AI has been with us for decades, and now penetrating more in our day-to-day life so as the robots. But, where are all these converging together? Towards creating a smarter eco-system of living, where robots will coexist with us in harmony, for a smarter, healthier, safer and happier life. How? Social Intelligence (SI) of such consumer Robots will be the key technology and the next big R&D challenge. SI will enable such robots to behave in socially expected and accepted manners. The talk will reinforce that robots have a range of potential societal applications, and that as a robotics industry, SoftBank Robotics’ R&D and Innovation is around the centrality of wellbeing of people. The time has arrived, when social robots have started to be deployed, evaluated and available for practical purposes outside automation industry. For example, Pepper robot from SoftBank Robotics, which is mass produced and already being used in thousands of homes, and at public places; the Romeo humanoid robot companion for everyday life of people needing assistance; the Nao robot as teaching assistant. The bigger question is where do all these have the inevitable crossover with Ethical, Legal and Moral aspects. The first part of the talk will illustrate some of the use cases, and potential applications for such intelligent robots, grounded with some key European Union Projects. The second part will present the feedback and needs from the real users. This will help to highlight some of the immediate R&D challenges and ethical, social and moral aspects from real uses perspective in the third part of the talk. The talk will conclude with some open and grand challenges ahead for us, the interdisciplinary community, to brainstorm and solve.