Autonomous Systems: Managing Risk and Reward - IEEE AI & Ethics Summit 2016

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The advent and increased sophistication of autonomous systems offers significant potential benefits in diverse application domains including manufacturing and transportation, healthcare and financial services, exploration, maintenance and repair. In addition to cost and risk reduction, potential benefits include enhanced productivity, precision and accuracy, better health outcomes, lower mortality and injury rates due to human error, as well as opportunities for greater human creativity. These are counter-balanced by a broad range of ethical, social, philosophical and legal concerns, including further dehumanising warfare, creating existential threats and damaging the fabric of human society.

From the perspective of reducing the likelihood of negative as well as unintended consequences, what is the best way to manage risk and reward? Should those responsible for technological innovation in the domain of autonomous systems be given carte blanche, or what kinds of guiding principles, regulation or even pre-emptive bans should be considered?  This panel will discuss social, technological, legal, and philosophical questions surrounding this ongoing international debate.

Panelists include:

  • Raja Chatila – Director of the Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics, Sorbonne – University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris
  • Kay Firth-Butterfield – Distinguished Scholar and co-founder, Consortium on Law and Ethics of AI and Robotics, Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, University of Texas, Austin
  • Juha Heikkilä – Head of Unit, Robotics & Artificial Intelligence, DG Connect, European Commission
  • Jérôme Perrin – VP Scientific Director, Groupe Renault

The advent and increased sophistication of autonomous systems offers significant potential benefits in diverse application domains including manufacturing and transportation, healthcare and financial services, exploration, maintenance and repair. In addition to cost and risk reduction, potential benefits include enhanced productivity, precision and accuracy, better health outcomes, lower mortality and injury rates due to human error, as well as opportunities for greater human creativity. These are counter-balanced by a broad range of ethical, social, philosophical and legal concerns, including further dehumanising warfare, creating existential threats and damaging the fabric of human society.

From the perspective of reducing the likelihood of negative as well as unintended consequences, what is the best way to manage risk and reward? Should those responsible for technological innovation in the domain of autonomous systems be given carte blanche, or what kinds of guiding principles, regulation or even pre-emptive bans should be considered?  This panel will discuss social, technological, legal, and philosophical questions surrounding this ongoing international debate.

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