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  1. The Quest for RobotethicsA Survey Rafael Capurro Distinguished Researcher in Information Ethics School of Information Studies University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Workshop on Social Implications of IT University of Wollongong, June 10, 2010 Sydney, Australia

  2. Quest for Roboethics

  3. Quest for Roboethics

  4. Content Introduction I. Recent Research in Roboethics II. Intercultural Robethics III. Roboethics and Digital Ontology Conclusion Quest for Roboethics

  5. Introduction Ethics and robotics are two academic disciplines, one dealing with the moral norms and values underlying implicitly or explicitly human behaviour and the other aiming at the production of artificial agents, mostly as physical devices, with some degree of autonomy based on rules and programmes set up by their creators. Quest for Roboethics

  6. Introduction Human-robot interaction raises serious ethical questions right now that are theoretically less ambitious but practically more important than the possibility of the creation of moral machines that would be more than machines with an ethical code. The term ‘roboethics” was coined by the engineer Gianmarco Veruggio Quest for Roboethics

  7. Introduction The aim of this paper is give a brief account of  subjects, projects, groups and authors dealing  with ethical aspects of robots. I first start with  recent research on roboethics in two EU projects namely ETHICBOTS (2005-2008) and ETICA (2009-2011). I report on the  activities of  and particularly of  the Technical Committee (TC) on  Roboethics of the IEEE  and list some ethical issues and principles currently discussed. I also report briefly on the Machine Ethics Consortium. Quest for Roboethics

  8. Introduction In the second part I present some views on robotics and robots as discussed particularly in Japan leading to what I call intercultural roboethics, i.e., to an in-deep analysis of the way(s) in which robots are perceived in different cultures with different social and moral backgrounds, values and principles. Quest for Roboethics

  9. Introduction An intercultural ethical analysis should make possible to be aware of these differences as a basis for a comparative normative ethics of robots (genitivus obiectivus) that is still in its infancy. Quest for Roboethics

  10. Introduction In the third part I briefly discuss the relationship between roboethics and digital ontology. In the conclusion I point to some topics and questions for a future agenda of intercultural roboethics Quest for Roboethics

  11. I. Recent Research on Roboethics EU Project ETHICBOTS (2005-2008) Emerging Technoethics of Human Interaction with Communication, Bionic and Robotic Systems (2005-2008). The project aimed at identifying crucial ethical issues in these areas such as • the preservation of human identity, and integrity • applications of precautionary principles • economic and social discrimination; • artificial system autonomy and accountability; • responsibilities for (possibly unintended) warfare application • nature and impact of human-machine cognitive and affective bonds on individuals and society. Quest for Roboethics

  12. Quest for Roboethics

  13. I. Recent Research on Roboethics EU Project ETICA (2009-2011) The ETICA project will identify emerging Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and their potential application areas in order to analyse and evaluate ethical issues arising from these. By including a variety of stakeholders and disciplinary perspectives, it will grade and rank foreseeable ethical risks. Quest for Roboethics

  14. I. Recent Research on Roboethics Based on the study governance arrangements currently used to address ICT ethics in Europe, ETICA will recommend concrete governance structures to address the most salient ethical issues identified. These recommendations will form the basis of more general policy recommendations aimed at addressing ethical issues in emerging ICTs before or as they arise. Quest for Roboethics

  15. I. Recent Research on Roboethics The IEEE-RAS Technical Committee (TC) on Roboethics aims to provide the IEEE-RAS with a framework for analyzing the ethical implications of robotics research, by promoting the discussion among researchers, philosophers, ethicists, and manufacturers, but also by supporting the establishment of shared tools for managing ethical issues in this context. Quest for Roboethics

  16. I. Recent Research on Roboethics The focus of the TC includes the unintended warfare uses of robotics research results, the preservation of human integrity in the interaction with robotic (even bionic) systems, and the study and development of the robot-ethics concept. The TC pursues its objectives by organizing focussed events and publications at RAS-sponsored conferences and elsewhere." Quest for Roboethics

  17. I. Recent Research on Roboethics Taxonomy: • Humanoids • Advanced production systems • Adaptive robot servants and intelligent homes • Network Robotics • Outdoor Robotics • Health Care and Life Quality • Military Robotics • Edutainment Quest for Roboethics

  18. I. Recent Research on Roboethics Ethical issues shared by Roboethics and Information Ethics: • Dual-use technology • Anthropomorphization of the Machines • Humanisation of the Human/Machine relationship • Technology Addiction • Digital Divide • Fair access to technological resources • Effects of technology on the global distribution of wealth and powr • Environmental impact of technology Quest for Roboethics

  19. I. Recent Research on Roboethics Ethical Principles to be followed in Roboethics: • Human Dignity and Human Rights • Equality, Justice and Equity • Benefit and Harm • Respect for Cultural Diversity and Pluralism • Non-Discrimination and Non-Stigmatization • Autonomy and Individual Responsibility • Informed Consent • Privacy • Confidentiality • Solidarity and Cooperation • Social Responsibility • Sharing of Benefits • Responsibility towards the Biosphere Quest for Roboethics

  20. I. Recent Research on Roboethics Machine Ethics Consortium, Univ. of Hartford Machine Ethics is concerned with the behavior of machines towards human users and other machines. Allowing machine intelligence to effect change in the world can be dangerous without some restraint. Machine Ethics involves adding an ethical dimension to machines to achieve this restraint. Quest for Roboethics

  21. I. Recent Research on Roboethics Further, machine intelligence can be harnessed to develop and test the very theory needed to build machines that will be ethically sensitive. Thus, machine ethics has the additional benefits of assisting human beings in ethical decision-making and, more generally, advancing the development of ethical theory.” Quest for Roboethics

  22. Korean Robot Ethics Charter Quest for Roboethics

  23. II. Intercultural Roboethics 1. Robots and Roboethics in Japan: "Robots that look human tend to be a big hit with young children and the elderly," Hiroshi Kobayashi, Tokyo University of Science professor and Saya's developer, said yesterday. "Children even start crying when they are scolded." Quest for Roboethics

  24. II. Intercultural Roboethics 2. Further ContributionsSee my presentations in 2009 for the following workshops at the University of Tsukuba organized by Makoto Nakada: Symposium: Ethics and Robotics, University of Tsukuba, October 3, 2009 (PowerPoint) Cybernics, University of Tsukuba, September 30, 2009 (PowerPoint) See also the contributions to the meeting Computing and Philosophy (AP-CAP 2009)Keynote: Hiroshi Ishiguro: Developing androids and understanding humans Quest for Roboethics

  25. III. Roboethics and Digital Ontology The relation between humans and robots can be understood as a relation between rationality and freedom or between the digital and the existential casting of Being. In a recent article the Australian philosopher Michael Eldred writes: Quest for Roboethics

  26. III. Roboethics and Digital Ontology "For example, a computer-controlled robot on a production line can bring the robot's arm into a precisely precalculated position, which is always a rational number or an n-tuple thereof. The robot's arm, however, will always be in a real, physical position, no matter how accurate the rational position calculated by the computer is. Quest for Roboethics

  27. III. Roboethics and Digital Ontology • There is therefore always an /indeterminacy/ in the computer-calculated position, a certain /quivering/ between a rational position and an infinity of irrational, but real positions. An irrational, real position can never be calculated by a computer, but only approximated, only approached. Quest for Roboethics

  28. III. Roboethics and Digital Ontology This signals the /ontological/ limit to the calculability of physical reality for mathematical science. It is not an experimental result, but is obtained from phenomenological, ontological considerations. We must conclude: /physical reality is irrational/. " Quest for Roboethics

  29. III. Roboethics and Digital Ontology "Hence the state of any real physical being is always an indeterminate quivering around a rationally calculable state. Physical reality, even on a banal macroscopic level, therefore always exceeds what can be logically, mathematically, rationally calculated/. This holds true all the more for those physical beings — ourselves— whose essential hallmark is spontaneous, /free/ movement. Quest for Roboethics

  30. III. Roboethics and Digital Ontology Let me end with a quote from Goethe: "Es waren verständige, geistreiche, lebhafte Menschen, die wohl einsahen, daß die Summe unserer Existenz, durch Vernunft dividiert, niemals rein aufgehe, sondern daß immer ein wunderlicher Bruch übrig bleibe." "They were rational, clever, lively people who saw very well that the sum of our existence, divided by reason, never goes evenly, but always leaves the remainder of a queer fraction.” (Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, 4. Buch, 18. Kap.) (Eldred 2010). Quest for Roboethics

  31. III. Roboethics and Digital Ontology There is not only a tension but an abyss or a strange or, as Eldred translates, "queer" fraction ("ein wunderlicher Bruch") between the human mode of existence and the mode robots are. Humans die, robots break down or go kaputt. This insight is important not only for philosophers but also for roboticists in order to avoid waste of time for instance trying to build a robot like a human or to develop a theory where robots are to be considered as moral beings. Quest for Roboethics

  32. III. Roboethics and Digital Ontology This analysis of the ontological difference between the modes of being of robots and humans presupposes what I call, in accordance with Eldred, digital ontology (Capurro 2005). The consequence of this analysis is that robotics should be founded in the difference and not in the similarity between the modes of being or humans and robots. This analysis takes a critical stance against some perennial myths regarding the idea of robots becoming "like" humans. Quest for Roboethics

  33. Conclusion If within our present digital ontology – in case we agree that this view of Being is a pervading one today, as Eldred also remarks – leads us to equating all beings (including humans) as being digitally quantifiable and re-producable, then it is an important philosophical and particularly ethical task to question these metaphysical ambitions that blur phemenological differences. Digital reductionism is not bad per se but only when it becomes dogmatic in theory and/or in practice. Quest for Roboethics

  34. Conclusion The question of what kind of transformation is being operated in human societies when billions of human beings interact in digital networks that are interwoven with their bodies is highly relevant today and in the future. If roboticists want to create useful robots they have to think about them within the background of different cultures and moralities. Quest for Roboethics

  35. Conclusion “What is it like to be a robot? Wittgenstein’s famous dictum that “if a lion could speak, we would not understand him” (Wittgenstein, 1984, p. 568) points to the issue, that human language is rooted in what he calls “forms of life.” Humans and lions have orthogonal forms of life, i.e., they construct their reality based on systemic differences. What is it like to be a human?” (Capurro & Nagenborg 2009) Quest for Roboethics

  36. Quest for Roboethics