Symposium on machine ethics

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Dec 22 2004 - 15:56:31 MST

This looks potentially interesting and relevant.

-- Ben



Call for Participation

Past research concerning the relationship between technology and ethics has
largely focused on responsible and
irresponsible use of technology by human beings, with a few people being
interested in how human beings ought to
treat machines. In all cases, only human beings have engaged in ethical
reasoning. The time has come for adding
an ethical dimension to at least some machines. Recognition of the ethical
ramifications of behavior involving
machines, as well as recent and potential developments in machine autonomy,
necessitates this. In contrast to
computer hacking, software property issues, privacy issues and other topics
normally ascribed to computer ethics,
machine ethics is concerned with the behavior of machines towards human
users and other machines.

We contend that research in machine ethics is key to alleviating concerns
with autonomous systems—it could be
argued that the notion of autonomous machines without such a dimension is at
the root of all fear concerning
machine intelligence. Further, investigation of machine ethics could enable
the discovery of problems with current
ethical theories, advancing our thinking about ethics. We intend to bring
together interested participants from a wide
variety of disciplines to the end of forging a set of common goals for
machine ethics investigation and the research
agendas required to accomplish them. Topics of interest include, but are not
restricted to:

.. improvement of interaction between artificially and naturally intelligent
systems through the addition of an
ethical dimension to artificially intelligent systems
.. enhancement of machine-machine communication and cooperation through an
ethical dimension
.. design of systems that provide expert guidance in ethical matters
.. deeper understanding of ethical theories through computational simulation
.. development of decision procedures for ethical theories that have
multiple prima facie duties
.. computability of ethics
.. theoretical and practical objections to machine ethics
.. impact of machine ethics on society

Submission Information

Potential participants are requested to submit either a full technical paper
(not exceeding 5000 words) or a brief
statement of interest (not exceeding 1000 words). Also invited are proposals
for panels that state one or more
fundamental issues/questions concerning machine ethics and take a stand on
them supported by cogent arguments.
Send submissions via email attachments to Further
information regarding the symposium
can be found at

Important Dates

May 2, 2005 Papers/Statements of Interest due
May 23, 2005 Accept/decline notices sent
September 16, 2005 Invited participants registration deadline (tentative)
November 3-6, 2005 AAAI Fall 2005 Symposium Series at the Hyatt Crystal City
in Arlington, Virginia

Organizing Committee

Michael Anderson (co-chair), University of Hartford (
Susan Leigh Anderson (co-chair), University of Connecticut
Chris Armen (co-chair), Trinity College (

Sponsored by the American Association of Artificial Intelligence in
cooperation with the IEEE Society on Social
Implications of Technology, the National Science Foundation, and the Machine
Ethics Consortium.

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