REI Colloquium – Alan Wagner
“A Human-Robot Interaction Architecture to Support Ethical Actions Derived from Folk Morality and Expert Opinion”
By Alan Wagner, Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Research Associate in the Rock Ethics Institute
Ethical decision-making is complex; and it is especially difficult to incorporate into autonomous systems. This project is focused on creating and testing an architecture for a robot that allows the system to be adaptable and ethical in its decision-making in complex situations. Since these systems may be called upon to adapt to evolving norms and cultural expectations, the development of an architecture that incorporates a range of philosophical theories and perspectives is crucially important. The robot’s decisions will therefore be guided by multiple ethical frameworks and a simulated moral emotional state when they are tasked with making an ethical choice. Findings from the project could influence the design of countless types of robots including robot teachers, greeters, therapists, and companions. Thus, this research has the potential to impact large sections of society, including vulnerable populations such as individuals with disabilities that may interact with future robots.