ROBOETHICS: THREE CONFERENCES IN JUNE 15 – 29, 2017, AT FLORENCE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND HUMANITIES “LA COLOMBARIA”. ACADEMICS OF SANT’ANNA SCHOOL ADDRESS CONCERNS OVER ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE USE OF ROBOTS

The Tuscan Academy of Science and Humanities “La Colombaria” organized three seminars on “Roboethics, from algorithms to humanoids” from June 15 to 29 in Florence. Giorgio Buttazzo, Professor of Engineering, Erica Palmerini, Professor of Law, and Barbara Henry, Professor of Political Philosophy, will discuss ethics in science and technology and the impact of robotization on society.

Humans, not robots, are the responsible agents. Significant social and ethical issues rose by the ever-faster application of robots to our daily life and the purpose of roboethics is ensuring that machines with artificial intelligence behave ethically. Sant’Anna School plays an important role in ensuring fairness and applying common sense in designing ethical robots in accordance with accepted precepts of human morality. Erica Palmerini coordinated the EU funded project “RoboLaw”; it focused on the ethical, legal and economic implications of applied robotics to extend the scope of the code of ethics beyond the research setting.

Robots are assuming more roles in the industry and are expected to be an expanding factor in the future economy. Advances in technology have provided additional benefits to military activities or medical treatments; however, this approach to humans and patients, as vulnerable subjects, should be carefully considered especially when an algorithm would violate the essence of ethics.

Starting from a philosophical and sociological review of the depth and extent of robotics, Professor Barbara Henry summarizes the co-dependency between science and science fiction as source of inspiration for scientists and engineers. As JBS Haldane put it: “the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose”.

Conference calendar

15 June, 5.00 pm, Giorgio Buttazzo: “Programmi e robot: tassonomia ed evoluzione”

22 June, 5.00 pm, Erica Palmerini: “Robotica e diritto”

29 June, 5.00 pm, Barbara Henry: “La robotica nella fantascienza e nella filmografia”

All events are free and open to the public. Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere “La Colombaria”, via Sant’Egidio, 23 – 50122 Firenze.

Cover photo: Sant’Anna School, BioRobotics Lab.

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