Artificial Intelligence and Ethics – Who does the thinking?

Tuesday 15th November 2016

Location: The Sofitel Europe, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak Room

Registration and Coffee

Welcome: Marko Delimar – Chair, IEEE European Public Policy Initiative

Keynote Speech: Wojciech Wiewiórowski – Assistant Supervisor, European Data
Protection Supervisor (EDPS)

Networking Coffee Break – Foyer Europe

John C. Havens (Moderator) – Executive Director, The Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems

Session 1: Autonomous Systems – Managing Risk and Reward:

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. As well as 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.

  • 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
Walking Networking Buffet Lunch – Location: Foyer Europe

Session 2: Programming Human Ethics: Cui Bono?

There have been proposals to program ethical algorithms into machines, such as cars or robots. For instance, there have been utilitarian algorithms weighing costs and benefits of machine decisions, as well as attempts to build Kant’s Categorical Imperative into systems. These engineering efforts are important, because as cars, or medical and care robots continue to proliferate in society, these machines will likely confront situations in which their actions will have ethical consequences. But are machines capable of making what humans consider ethical or moral decisions? Should they take these decisions? Or do humans always need to be in the loop? This panel will convene around these important questions.

  • Joanna Bryson – Reader, Department of Computer Science, University of Bath & Affiliate, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
  • Mady Delvaux – Member European Parliament
  • Sarah Spiekermann – Institute for Management Information Systems, Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • Corrine Cath – DPhil (PhD) student at the University of Oxford and an Alan Turing Institute doctoral student

Networking Coffee Break – Foyer Europe

Session 3: Social Implications – Perils & Promises of AI

AI techniques are already being applied to a variety of sectors, ranging from autonomous systems to automation of decision making activities impacting on people’s lives in fields as diverse as education, finance, healthcare, transportation, and warfare. There are clearly social implications and ethical challenges arising from the use of AI in such rapidly evolving sectors. Despite the technical capabilities that may exist, there are often practical challenges associated with balancing competing demands on finite capacity and resources.

In a context where decisions related to the “suitability” or “prioritisation” of individuals to access services (e.g. health insurance) and technological innovations may potentially be based on increasingly automated assessments of perceived risk factors, how do we ensure that critical decision making continues to incorporate a strong ethical dimension aligned with human values? In an increasingly complex, black-box based decision making environment, quis custodiet ipsos custodies? – (Who watches the watchmen?)

  • Greg Adamson – Chair of IEEE Technical Activities, Ethics, Society & Technology Initiative
  • Nikolaos Mavridis – Founder and Director of the Interactive Robots and Media Lab (IRML)
  • Paul Nemitz – Director for Fundamental Rights and Union Citizenship, DG Justice, European Commission
  • Aurélie Pols – Data Governance & Privacy Advocate, Krux Digital Inc. & member Ethics Advisory Group (EAG) – European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)

Perspectives from the Day: John C. Havens

Networking Cocktail – Foyer Europe