The University of Potsdam dedicates its current research to voices. The scientists – among them Dr. Yuefang Zhou and Katharina Kühne – are studying the first impression during communication. The survey website says: „The current study will last approximately 20 minutes. You will be asked some questions about the voice you hear. Please answer them honestly and spontaneously. There are no right or wrong answers; we are interested in your subjective perception. Just choose one out of the suggested alternatives.“ Prof. Dr. Oliver Bendel, FHNW School of Business, has produced three of the samples and participates in the project. „Your responses will be treated confidentially and your anonymity will be ensured. Your responses cannot be identified and related to you as an individual, if you choose to leave your e-mail address at the end of the study this cannot be linked back to your responses. All responses will be compiled together and analysed as a group.“ The questionnaire can be accessed via www.soscisurvey.de/impress/.
Fig.: The effects of voices
„With a few decades, autonomous and semi-autonomous machines will be found throughout Earth’s environments, from homes and gardens to parks and farms and so-called working landscapes – everywhere, really, that humans are found, and perhaps even places we’re not. And while much attention is given to how those machines will interact with people, far less is paid to their impacts on animals.“ (Anthropocene, October 10, 2018) „Machines can disturb, frighten, injure, and kill animals,“ says Oliver Bendel, an information systems professor at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, according to the magazine. „Animal-friendly machines are needed.“ (Anthropocene, October 10, 2018) In the article „Will smart machines be kind to animals?“ the magazine Anthropocene deals with animal-friendly machines and introduces the work of the scientist. It is based on his paper „Towards animal-friendly machines“ (Paladyn) and an interview conducted by journalist Brandon Keim with Oliver Bendel. More via www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2018/10/animal-friendly-ai/.
Fig.: Also a cat can be safe, even on the street
Im „Handbuch Maschinenethik“, herausgegeben von Oliver Bendel, ist Anfang Juli 2018 ein Beitrag von Catrin Misselhorn erschienen, mit dem Titel „Maschinenethik und Philosophie“. Die Zusammenfassung: „Die Maschinenethik ist ein Forschungsgebiet an der Schnittstelle von Philosophie und Informatik. Dieser Beitrag beschäftigt sich zum einen mit den philosophischen Grundbegriffen und Voraussetzungen der Maschinenethik. Diese sind von besonderer Bedeutung, da sie Fragen aufwerfen, die die Möglichkeit der Maschinenethik teilweise grundsätzlich in Zweifel ziehen. Zum zweiten werden die verschiedenen Rollen der Philosophie auf unterschiedlichen Ebenen innerhalb der Maschinenethik thematisiert und die methodologische Umsetzung dieses interdisziplinären Forschungsprogramms dargelegt.“ (Website Springer) Eine Übersicht über die Beiträge, die laufend elektronisch veröffentlicht werden, findet sich über link.springer.com/referencework/10.1007/978-3-658-17484-2 … Das gedruckte Buch kommt in wenigen Monaten heraus.
Abb.: Die Maschinenethik gestaltet Maschinen mit
The international workshop „Understanding AI & Us“ will take place in Berlin (Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society) on 30 June 2018. It is hosted by Joanna Bryson (MIT), Janina Loh (University of Vienna), Stefan Ullrich (Weizenbaum Institute Berlin) and Christian Djeffal (IoT and Government, Berlin). Birgit Beck, Oliver Bendel and Pak-Hang Wong are invited to the panel on the ethical challenges of artificial intelligence. The aim of the workshop is to bring together experts from the field of research reflecting on AI. The event is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung). The project „Understanding AI & Us“ furthers and deepens the understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) in an interdisciplinary way. „This is done in order to improve the ways in which AI-systems are invented, designed, developed, and criticised.“ (Invitation letter) „In order to achieve this, we form a group that merges different abilities, competences and methods. The aim is to provide space for innovative and out-of-the-box-thinking that would be difficult to pursue in ordinary academic discourse in our respective disciplines. We are seeking ways to merge different disciplinary epistemological standpoints in order to increase our understanding of the development of AI and its impact upon society.“ (Invitation letter)
Fig.: Combat robots could also be an issue
The young discipline of machine ethics refers to the morality of semi-autonomous and autonomous machines, robots, bots or software systems. They become special moral agents, and depending on their behavior, we can call them moral or immoral machines. They decide and act in situations where they are left to their own devices, either by following pre-defined rules or by comparing their current situations to case models, or as machines capable of learning and deriving rules. Moral machines have been known for some years, at least as simulations and prototypes. Machine ethics works closely with artificial intelligence and robotics. The term of machine morality can be used similarly to the term of artificial intelligence. Oliver Bendel has developed a graphic that illustrates the relationship between machine ethics and artificial intelligence. He presented it at conferences at Stanford University (AAAI Spring Symposia), in Fort Lauderdale (ISAIM) and Vienna (Robophilosophy) in 2018.
Fig.: The terms of machine ethics and artificial intelligence
The tentative schedule of AAAI 2018 Spring Symposium on AI and Society at Stanford University (26 – 28 March 2018) has been published. On Tuesday Emma Brunskill from Stanford University, Philip C. Jackson („Toward Beneficial Human-Level AI … and Beyond“) and Andrew Williams („The Potential Social Impact of the Artificial Intelligence Divide“) will give a lecture. Oliver Bendel will have two talks, one on „The Uncanny Return of Physiognomy“ and one on „From GOODBOT to BESTBOT“. From the description on the website: „Artificial Intelligence has become a major player in today’s society and that has inevitably generated a proliferation of thoughts and sentiments on several of the related issues. Many, for example, have felt the need to voice, in different ways and through different channels, their concerns on: possible undesirable outcomes caused by artificial agents, the morality of their use in specific sectors, such as the military, and the impact they will have on the labor market. The goal of this symposium is to gather a diverse group of researchers from many disciplines and to ignite a scientific discussion on this topic.“
Fig.: The symposium is about AI and society
„Robophilosophy 2018 – Envisioning Robots In Society: Politics, Power, And Public Space“ is the third event in the Robophilosophy Conference Series which focusses on robophilosophy, a new field of interdisciplinary applied research in philosophy, robotics, artificial intelligence and other disciplines. The main organizers are Prof. Dr. Mark Coeckelbergh, Dr. Janina Loh and Michael Funk. Plenary speakers are Joanna Bryson (Department of Computer Science, University of Bath, UK), Hiroshi Ishiguro (Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, Osaka University, Japan), Guy Standing (Basic Income Earth Network and School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK), Catelijne Muller (Rapporteur on Artificial Intelligence, European Economic and Social Committee), Robert Trappl (Head of the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Austria), Simon Penny (Department of Art, University of California, Irvine), Raja Chatila (IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in AI and Automated Systems, Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, France), Josef Weidenholzer (Member of the European Parliament, domains of automation and digitization) and Oliver Bendel (Institute for Information Systems, FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland). The conference will take place from 14 to 17 February 2018 in Vienna. More information via conferences.au.dk/robo-philosophy/.
Fig.: Robophilosophy in Vienna
AAAI announced the launch of the AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society, to be co-located with AAAI-18, February 2-3, 2018 in New Orleans. The Call for Papers is available at http://www.aies-conference.com. October 31 is the deadline for submissions. „As AI is becoming more pervasive in our life, its impact on society is more significant and concerns and issues are raised regarding aspects such as value alignment, data bias and data policy, regulations, and workforce displacement. Only a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder effort can find the best ways to address these concerns, including experts of various disciplines, such as AI, computer science, ethics, philosophy, economics, sociology, psychology, law, history, and politics.“ (AAAI information) The new conference complements and expands the classical AAAI Spring Symposia at Stanford University (including symposia like „AI for Social Good“ in 2017 or „AI and Society: Ethics, Safety and Trustworthiness in Intelligent Agents“ in 2018).
Fig.: AI and ethics could help society
The conference „Robophilosophy 2018 – Envisioning Robots In Society: Politics, Power, And Public Space“ will take place in Vienna (February 14 – 17, 2018). According to the website, it has three main aims; it shall present interdisciplinary humanities research „in and on social robotics that can inform policy making and political agendas, critically and constructively“, investigate „how academia and the private sector can work hand in hand to assess benefits and risks of future production formats and employment conditions“ and explore how research in the humanities, including art and art research, in the social and human sciences, „can contribute to imagining and envisioning the potentials of future social interactions in the public space“ (Website Robophilosophy). Plenary speakers are Joanna Bryson (Department of Computer Science, University of Bath, UK), Alan Winfield (FET – Engineering, Design and Mathematics, University of the West of England, UK) and Catelijne Muller (Rapporteur on Artificial Intelligence, European Economic and Social Committee). Deadline for submission of abstracts for papers and posters is October 31. More information via conferences.au.dk/robo-philosophy/.
Fig.: Reflexions on robots
Die Konferenz im Dezember 2016 an der University of London (Goldsmiths) mit dem Titel „Love and Sex with Robots“ hat ein enormes internationales Echo ausgelöst. Insbesondere in den englischen und amerikanischen Boulevardmedien wurden Aussagen der Referenten verdreht und verfälscht. Was sie wirklich gesagt und gemeint haben, lässt sich nun schwarz auf weiß nachlesen. Ende April 2017 ist das Buch „Love and Sex with Robots“ bei Springer herausgekommen, in der Reihe „Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence“. Aus dem Klappentext: „This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the Second International Conference on Love and Sex with Robots 2016 in December 2016, in London, UK. The 12 revised papers presented together with 1 keynote were carefully reviewed and selected from a total of 38 submissions. … The topics of the conferences were as follows: robot emotions, humanoid robots, clone robots, entertainment robots, robot personalities, teledildonics, intelligent electronic sex hardware, gender approaches, affective approaches, psychological approaches, sociological approaches, roboethics, and philosophical approaches.“ (Klappentext) Beiträge stammen u.a. von David Levy, Emma Yann Zhang und Oliver Bendel. Das Buch kann hier bestellt werden.