Schlagworte: Machine Ethics

Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society

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 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

Robophilosophy 2018

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

Fig.: Reflexions on robots

Reflections on Individual Synthetic Voices

The synthetization of voices, or speech synthesis, has been an object of interest for centuries. It is mostly realized with a text-to-speech system (TTS), an automaton that interprets and reads aloud. This system refers to text available for instance on a website or in a book, or entered via popup menu on the website. Today, just a few minutes of samples are enough in order to be able to imitate a speaker convincingly in all kinds of statements. The article „The Synthetization of Human Voices“ by Oliver Bendel (published on 26 July 2017) abstracts from actual products and actual technological realization. Rather, after a short historical outline of the synthetization of voices, exemplary applications of this kind of technology are gathered for promoting the development, and potential applications are discussed critically in order to be able to limit them if necessary. The ethical and legal challenges should not be underestimated, in particular with regard to informational and personal autonomy and the trustworthiness of media. The article can be viewed via

Fig.: Can you hear my voice?

The Robot’s Love Affairs

PlayGround is a Spanish online magazine, founded in 2008, with a focus on culture, future and food. Astrid Otal asked the ethicist Oliver Bendel about the conference in London („Love and Sex with Robots“) and in general about sex robots and love dolls. One issue was: „In love, a person can suffer. But in this case, can robots make us suffer sentimentally?“ The reply to it: „Of course, they can make us suffer. By means of their body, body parts and limbs, and by means of their language capabilities. They can hurt us, they can kill us. They can offend us by using certain words and by telling the truth or the untruth. In my contribution for the conference proceedings, I ask this question: It is possible to be unfaithful to the human love partner with a sex robot, and can a man or a woman be jealous because of the robot’s other love affairs? We can imagine how suffering can emerge in this context … But robots can also make us happy. Some years ago, we developed the GOODBOT, a chatbot which can detect problems of the user and escalate on several levels. On the highest level, it hands over an emergency number. It knows its limits.“ Some statements of the interview have been incorporated in the article „Última parada: después del sexo con autómatas, casarse con un Robot“ (February 11, 2017) which is available via

Fig.: What about the robot’s love affairs?

Neue Rubrik mit englischen Abstracts

Auf und gibt es die neue Rubrik „Abstracts“. Dort werden Abstracts von ausgewählten wissenschaftlichen Beiträgen zur Maschinenethik und zur Informationsethik von Oliver Bendel gesammelt. Es sind ausschließlich englische Abstracts, und die dazugehörigen Texte sind ebenfalls mehrheitlich in englischer Sprache. Auch andere europäische Autoren können dort aufgenommen werden. Sie können ihre Abstracts an die E-Mail-Adresse im Impressum senden, wobei sie die Erlaubnis zur Veröffentlichung erteilen müssen. In den USA wird auf die Maschinenethik und die Informationsethik in Europa zu wenig Bezug genommen, vor allem, wenn die Beiträge in deutscher, französischer, italienischer, spanischer oder portugiesischer Sprache vorliegen. Von allen wichtigen Vertretern liegen natürlich auch Texte in englischer Sprache vor. Aber viele europäische Wissenschaftler, gerade Philosophen, schreiben gerne in ihrer Muttersprache. Über die Rubrik kann sowohl auf nichtenglische als auch auf englische Beiträge aufmerksam gemacht werden. Das Entscheidende ist eben, dass die Abstracts in englischer Sprache vorhanden sind.

Ethically Aligned Design

Die Mitglieder der IEEE Global Initiative haben im Dezember 2016 ihre ersten Ergebnisse vorgelegt. „Ethically Aligned Design, Version 1“ ist online verfügbar. „A Vision for Prioritizing Human Wellbeing with Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems“, so der Untertitel, wird entworfen. In der Executive Summary heißt es: „To fully benefit from the potential of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems (AI/AS), we need to go beyond perception and beyond the search for more computational power or solving capabilities. We need to make sure that these technologies are aligned to humans in terms of our moral values and ethical principles. AI/AS have to behave in a way that is beneficial to people beyond reaching functional goals and addressing technical problems. This will allow for an elevated level of trust between humans and our technology that is needed for a fruitful pervasive use of AI/AS in our daily lives.“ Zu den Mitgliedern des Komitees „Classical Ethics in Information & Communication Technologies“ gehören Rafael Capurro, Wolfgang Hofkirchner und Oliver Bendel, um nur diejenigen zu nennen, die im deutschsprachigen Raum angesiedelt sind. Das zweite Treffen der IEEE Global Initiative findet am 5. Juni 2017 in Austin (Texas) statt. Beim „Symposium on Ethics of Autonomous Systems (SEAS North America)“ wird eine zweite Version des Dokuments erarbeitet.

Abb.: Das Symposium findet an der University of Texas statt

Maschinenethik an der Hochschule der Medien

„Über moralische und unmoralische Maschinen“ lautet der Titel des Vortrags, den Oliver Bendel am 7. Dezember 2016 an der Hochschule der Medien in Stuttgart hält. Er geht auf die Disziplin der Maschinenethik ein und stellt vergangene und laufende Forschungsprojekte vor. Dabei geht es um Roboter, die sozusagen etwas Gutes tun, und um Roboter, die täuschen und lügen, was sowohl im positiven als auch im negativen Sinne genutzt werden kann. Im November 2016 fand in Krakau im Rahmen der Konferenz „Machine Ethics and Machine Law“ eine Podiumsdiskussion statt, die sich um die Frage „Should we develop robots that deceive?“ drehte. In die schwäbische Landeshauptstadt wurde Oliver Bendel, der an der Hochschule für Wirtschaft FHNW arbeitet, vom Institut für Digitale Ethik eingeladen, das von Prof. Dr. Oliver Zöllner geleitet wird, der u.a. Vorsitzender des Trägervereins Hochschulradio Stuttgart sowie Mitglied im Advisory Board der deutschen Ausgabe des Global Media Journal ist. Die Veranstaltung beginnt um 14 Uhr und endet gegen 16 Uhr. Weitere Informationen sind in einem Flyer der Hochschule der Medien enthalten; zudem wird über informiert.


Abb.: Dieser Bus fährt nach Stuttgart

Internationale Konferenz zur Maschinenethik

Die Konferenz „Machine Ethics and Machine Law“ am 18. und 19. November in Krakau dürfte nach dem Symposium „Ethical and Moral Considerations in Non-Human Agents“ (21. – 23. März in Stanford) die wichtigste internationale Konferenz für Maschinenethik im Jahre 2016 sein. Die Keynotes am 19. November stammen von Ron Arkin („Lethal Autonomous Robots and the Plight of the Noncombatant“) und Amit Pandey („Contemporary Issues on Ethical Intelligence of a Socially Intelligent Consumer Robot“). In der darauffolgenden Podiumsdiskussion geht es um die Frage: „Should we develop robots that deceive?“ Es diskutieren Ron Arkin, Oliver Bendel, Jaap Hage und Mojca Plesnicar. In den Sessions am Nachmittag referieren u.a. Oliver Bendel, Lily Frank und Kathleen Richardson. Jaap Hage hält am 19. November seine Keynote zur Frage „Under which circumstances can we hold a machine responsible for its acts?“, Ewa Lukasik ihre Keynote über „Human Autonomy and the Hazards of Principle Agency in an Era of Expanding AI“. Es folgen eine weitere Podiumsdiskussion und Vorträge u.a. von Luís Moniz Pereira und Georgi Stojanov. Das gesamte Programm kann über die Website der Konferenz ( eingesehen werden; dort findet sich auch der Proceedingsband mit den Abstracts.


Abb.: Was bringen wir den Maschinen bei?

Workshop on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

„Artificial intelligence (AI) raises a number of ethical and political challenges in the present and near term, with applications such as driverless cars and search engines and potential issues ranging from job disruption to privacy violations. Over a longer term, if AI becomes as or more intelligent than humans, other governance issues such as safety and control may increase in importance. What policy approaches make sense across different issues and timeframes?“ (Website European Parliament) These are the initial words of a description of the workshop „Robotics and Artificial Intelligence – Ethical Issues and Regulatory approach“, organised by the Policy Department of the European Parliament. The first part „will focus on basic ethical and policy questions raised by the development of robotics and AI on the basis of presentations by experts“ (Website European Parliament). According to the description, this will be followed by a discussion with national parliamentarians on what the legislator should do and on which level, with the European Parliament’s draft legislative initiative report on „Civil Law Rules on Robotics“ as a basis. Further information can be found on the European Parliament’s website (

Journal on Vehicle Routing Algorithms

Springer invites scientists to contribute to the Journal on Vehicle Routing Algorithms. Editors-in-chief are Christian Prins, Troyes University of Technology, France, and Marc Sevaux, University of South-Brittany, France. The publishing house declares that the new journal „is an excellent domain for testing new approaches in modeling, optimization, artificial intelligence, computational intelligence, and simulation“ (Mailing, 2 September 2016). „Articles published in the Journal on Vehicle Routing Algorithms will present solutions, methods, algorithms, case studies, or software, attracting the interest of academic and industrial researchers, practitioners, and policymakers.“ (Mailing, 2 September 2016) According to the website, a vehicle routing problem (VRP) „arises whenever a set of spatially disseminated locations must be visited by mobile objects to perform tasks“ (Website Springer). „The mobile objects may be motorized vehicles, pedestrians, drones, mobile sensors, or manufacturing robots; the space covered may range from silicon chips or PCBs to aircraft wings, warehouses, cities, or countries; and the applications include traditional domains, such as freight and passenger transportation, services, logistics, and manufacturing, and also modern issues such as autonomous cars and the Internet of Things (IoT), and the profound environmental and societal implications of achieving efficiencies in resources, power, labor, and time.“ (Website Springer) The moral decisions of cars, drones and vacuum cleaners can also be investigated. More information via