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Accepted Paper:

Philosopher-Engineers and Robot-Kings: The Uncanny Future of Robot Ethics  
Alice Fox (Virginia Tech) Ben Beiter (Virginia Tech)

Paper short abstract:

A dialogue between a roboticist and a robot-ethicist who are in search of the in-between space of human and machine, humanities and engineering, the impact of technology and the work that makes it a reality.

Paper long abstract:

Who are we? We are a collection of students and enthusiasts, novices and those making mistakes for a living, guided by experts who have way too many other things to do. We are engineers and learn by doing, getting it wrong and then trying again– until one of our getting-it-wrongs is deemed ‘good enough’. Then we graduate, or the product is moved forward, or we are moved on to something– somewhere– else.

We feel the pressure society puts on us to make science fiction. That no robot we make will satisfy public expectation, while each robot we create pushes us further into the future.

Who are the ‘rest of us’? Ethicists, knowledge-seekers, deeply invested beyond the skin and skull of human persons. We’re in search of connections, interrelations between the machine and the person, of the possibilities of the future that we were raised to imagine. We try to strike a balance between theory and practice in a way that those behind the technologies can understand while performing disciplinarity–, entangled in an evermore complicated web of duty, care, and promethean kinship.

This paper is a dialogue between a roboticist and a robot-ethicist who are in search of the in-between space of human and machine, humanities and engineering, the impact of technology and the work that makes it a reality. Utilizing the Socratic dialogue format, we explore the uncertain future of what it means to be a ‘good’ roboticist in post-human times.

Panel P17c
Addressing the Humans behind AI and Robotics
  Session 1 Tuesday 7 June, 2022, -