Tag Archives: Roboethics – A discussion on how robots are impacting our society

Robot ethics at Vancouver’s next Café Scientifique

AJung Moon, a mechanical engineering researcher at the University of British Columbia, will be giving a talk: Roboethics – A discussion on how robots are impacting our society on Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 7:30 pm at the Railway Club,579 Dunsmuir St., Vancouver, BC. From the announcement,

From vacuuming houses to befriending older persons at care facilities, robots are starting to provide convenient and efficient solutions at homes, hospitals, and schools. For decades, numerous works in science fiction have imaginatively warned us that robots can bring catastrophic ethical, legal, and social issues into our society. But is today’s robotics technology advanced enough to the point that we should take these fictional speculations seriously? Roboticists, philosophers, and policymakers agree that we won’t see Terminator or Transformers type robots any time soon, but they also agree that the technology is bringing forth ethical issues needing serious discussions today. In this talk, we will highlight some of the ways robots are already impacting our society, and how the study of human-robot interaction can help put ethics into its design.

Moon has a blog called Roboethic info DataBase, where she posts the latest about robots and ethics.

Here’s a picture of her,

AJung Moon (downloaded from her Roboethics info DataBase blog)

I wonder what she makes of the RoboEarth project where robots will uploading information to something which is the equivalent of the internet and wikipedia (my Feb. 14, 2011 posting, scroll down a few paragraphs) or the lingodroids project where robots are creating a language. From the May 17, 2011 article by Katie Gatto (originally written for the IEEE [Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) on physorg.com,

Communication is a vital part of any task that has to be done by more than one individual. That is why humans in every corner of the world have created their own complex languages that help us share the goal. As it turns out, we are not alone in that need, or in our ability to create a language of our own.

Researchers at the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology have created a pair of robots who are creating their own language. The bots, which are being taught how to speak but not given specific languages, are learning to create a lexicon of their own.

The researchers have named these bots, lingodroids and you can read the paper here,

Research paper: Schulz, R., Wyeth, G., & Wiles, J. (In Press) Are we there yet? Grounding temporal concepts in shared journeys, IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development [PDF]

I hope to get to the talk on Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Meanwhile, Happy Weekend (and for Canadians it’s a long weekend)!