Welcome to robotethics.co.uk, a resource for policy makers, researchers, designers, developers and others interested in AI and robotic systems. Here you can access, share and discuss publicly available resources relating to the ethics of artificial intelligence and robots.
Since starting this site in 2017, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has mushroomed. Everything about AI is growing at pace – research papers, investment, number of start-ups, development platforms, applications, take-up by companies and public sector organisations and media coverage. I worked in a previous generation of AI during the 90s and my own conviction is that this is not all just hype. There are some real benefits to utilising the machine learning technologies that have emerged this decade.
BUT – as with every commercial or technological bubble there are going to be some ‘buts’ and ‘howevers’. Concern about AI has been equally vocal since about 2014 when Nick Bostrom raised the alarm. This has tended to focus attention on the longer-term fears that AI will eliminate humanity – either literally or spiritually. That’s a concern, but in the short to medium term, it’s a distraction (although some challenge this dichotomy). There are more immediate (but less fashionable) existential threats like nuclear war and species extinction that are happening right now.
There are also more immediate concerns in relation to AI. Even well before worrying about non-existential philosophical dilemmas like ‘the trolley problem’ for self-driving vehicles, it is more important to fix some basic issues like data privacy, data security and data bias. Cambridge Analytica ‘did us a service’ in bringing these to public attention. But if you want to see the real motivation…
If this matters to you, then ENGAGE.
Robotethics.co.uk gives policy makers, developers, researchers, and designers of AI and robotic systems, access to publicly available material, events and discussions about robots and artificial intelligence to facilitate the consideration of ethical issues.
The need now is not so much to jump on the AI bandwagon as to steer its direction. I want my interactions to be with people that care and about things that matter – not with a bunch of zombie algorithms designed only to manipulate my emotions, exploit my skills and transfer my resources to people that have already accumulated far too much. Don’t let Google, Facebook and Amazon define the plot. Think through the ethical issues and write a better story.
The site covers ethical issues as they affect development in artificial intelligence, robots, the internet and technology generally. Ethical issues, such as safety (doing no harm), human rights, privacy and surveillance , enhancing wellbeing, transparency, accountability, and bias in data and algorithms, apply to many areas such as medicine and healthcare, education, corporate power, autonomous vehicles, warfare and autonomous weapons, democracy and government, the courts and the systems of justice, the future of employment, taxation and social care, equality of opportunity, smart cities and homes and much more.