IPD Seminar: “How to NOT build a Terminator”

Monday, February 10, 2014
2 PM, Berger Auditorium, Skirkanich Hall
Ronald C. Arkin
Regents’ Professor & Director of the Mobile Robot Laboratory
Associate Dean for Research & Space Planning
College of Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology

Abstract: Given the present pace, direction, and funding of humanoid technological development, it seems that the science fiction vision of a Terminator robot is becoming more and more of a potential reality. Many researchers, perhaps unknowingly or unwittingly, are providing the capabilities to achieve such a platform, i.e., perhaps answering the question of “how to build a terminator”. This talk focuses on the ethical questions surrounding the potential creation of robotic platforms with lethal autonomy, striving to answer the question of “how to NOT build a Terminator”), perhaps by either avoiding or restraining the use of lethal force when (not if) this capability is achieved. Several options are presented that range from complete relinquishment of robotics research (Bill Joy and the Unabomber), to a moratorium (advocated by the United Nations Special Rapporteur to the U.N. Human Rights Council), to banning of such capability (advocated by Human Rights Watch and ICRA! C), to directly governing the behavior of lethal robots in a manner consistent with international Humanitarian Law (research in the Georgia Tech Mobile Robot Laboratory).

Biosketch: Ronald C. Arkin is Regents’ Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. He served as STINT visiting Professor at KTH in Stockholm, Sabbatical Chair at the Sony IDL in Tokyo, and the Robotics and AI Group at LAAS/CNRS in Toulouse. Dr. Arkin’s research interests include behavior-based control and action-oriented perception for mobile robots and UAVs, hybrid deliberative/reactive architectures, robot survivability, multiagent robotics, biorobotics, human-robot interaction, robot ethics, and learning in autonomous systems. Prof. Arkin served on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology, the IEEE RAS AdCom, andis a founding co-chair of IEEE RAS TC on Robot Ethics. He is a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology and a Fellow of the IEEE.