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Courses and education in Robo and AI Ethics

NEWS: Robots and AI real life actors were 20th Century figments of sci fi imagination. But increasingly robots, robotic and AI technologies are embedded in our every day lives acting in and transforming our culture, economy and society. Are we prepared for this revolution? Do engineers have the awareness and competences to deal with the ethical and social implications of the technologies they develop? Are people aware and competent enough to respond to the complex decisions of robots?

In particular today’s students in all fields from philosophy, to economics, to engineering needs the skills to address the complexities of the social and ethical implications specific to robots and AI. This is among others a challenge for educators that need tools to address new competences and awareness. But more and more universities and individual teachers are taking up the challenge:

Here’s one new course from Delft University on the topic: Mind of the Universe – Robots in Society: Blessing or Curse? It  consists of four modules in which students will be exposed to the potential societal and ethical impact of robots. It touches upon the design principles that developers should adhere to and critically reflect on issues such as robot autonomy, consciousness, and intelligence. At the end of the course, students will work with other participants to develop a groundbreaking solution that can be used by robot developers in the near future.

This course at MIT The Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence taught by Professor Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab, co-taught with Professor Jonathan Zittrain with a fantastic readings list that can be reviewed here.

Another course syllabus from Don Howard at University of Notre Dame in Robot Ethics offers a rich selection of literature, films and cases.

The same does this course Artificial Intelligence – Philosophy, Ethics, and Impact at Stanford University.