Workshops

Workshop 1: Transdisciplinary Reflections on Social Robotics in Academia and Beyond

Organizers:
Glenda Hannibal, Independent Researcher, Denmark
Felix Lindner, University of Freiburg, Germany

Date:
Wednesday, February 14, 09.00-12.00

Program including abstracts:
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Robo-philosophy 2018 is the third of its kind and with the ambition to include the research and insights from disciplines other than philosophy the themes of the conference are broad and open for various interpretations. Inclusion of other disciplines and perspectives can, however, also be achieved by ensuring that the conference participants get a chance to actively engage in a dialogue with each other in smaller groups where they reflect on how to benefit and advance social robotics with their respective knowledge and competences. In this sense the focus in this workshop is placed on creating a concrete setting in which the conference participants go from being passive listeners to engaging contributors in the task of thinking, engaging, and integrating social robotics into society. Considering this perspective the workshop aims to bring participants of the conference together to think actively about how to make social robotics more transdisciplinary after receiving input from the invited speakers. Among other questions, the discussion will include reflections on the possible benefits that transdisciplinarity will have for the development of social robotics as a research field and what needs to be done to establish a transdisciplinary research agenda and methodology for social robotics.

Workshop 2: Machines Without Humans // Post-robotics

Organizers:
Maike Klein, University of Stuttgart, Germany
Simon Hoher, University of Applied Sciences Salzburg, Austria
Simone Kimpeler, Competence Center Foresight, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Germany
Maximilian Lehner, KU Linz, Austria

Date:
Wednesday, February 14, 09.00-12.00

Program including abstracts:
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Debates around robots, both scientific and non-scientific, mostly put the human being in their focus. This is important and necessary to produce machines that humans can operate and interact with, and to do responsible research. We think, however, that the phenomenon of robots, and generally machines, is only fully comprehensible if we, the observers, step back and try to understand machines from another, unusual perspective: the machines themselves. We invite participants of this workshop to reflect upon machines, and especially robots, from a machine / robot point of view. What do robots do when we are not around? How do they spend the end of their working day? What do they appreciate or prefer? How, and what, do they communicate among each other? For instance, what were the two Facebook bots conferring about before some human turned them off? It is not our goal to design a post-human society but rather to explore what it means for our society not to consider robots only as agents that ought to be designed to carry out human tasks. In our opinion, we should take robots as robots seriously, because we often must rely upon them for good reasons. They help building our machines, guides us through art exhibitions, and assists in nursing. Thus, within this workshop, we would like to take a closer look at the robots themselves. We invite the participants to think away from a barely functional point of view, to think about the idea that robots are more than just the functional “partner” of humans.

Workshop 3: Working with and alongside Robots: Forms and Modes of Co-Working

Organizers:
Johanna Seibt, Aarhus University, Denmark (Steering Committee)
Kerstin Fischer, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Cathrine Hasse, Aarhus University, Denmark
Marco Nørskov, Aarhus University, Denmark and Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, Japan
Gunhild Berggren, Copenhagen University, Denmark

Date:
Wednesday, February 14, 14.30-16.00 and 16.30-18.30

Program including abstracts:
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This workshop aims to contribute to a better understanding of the possible socio-cultural, psychological, and ethical-existential implications of difference forms and modes of human-robot co-working. Work may be understood as (a) praxis, (b) conception, and (c) experience. While these three senses of work are multiply interdependent, we will focus on work as experienced activity. The workshop shall investigate phenomena and conceptua-lizations of work undertaken with or alongside several agents where one or more of these agents are artificial agents, with different types and degrees of affordances for social interaction.

While social robotics creates a “regulation problem” and a “description problem” that are intimately intertwined (Seibt2016), the focus of the workshop will be on description and analysis. The workshop will feature speakers from five different research lines that offer new descriptive tools and empirical results on forms and modes of co-working with robots. Some speakers will explore—from the perspectives of analytical and continental philosophy—the conceptual tasks that arise for a systematic social ontology of human-robot interaction. Other contributions will present empirical research on, as well as new practical initiatives for, new forms and modes of co-working. The regulation problem in social robotics will be addressed indirectly by providing insights into the conditions for creating satisfactory work experiences.

Workshop 4: Phronēsis and Computation: Current Perspectives

Organizer:
Charles Ess, University of Oslo, Norway

Date:
Wednesday, February 14, 16.30-18.30

Program including abstracts:
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Phronēsis is foregrounded in virtue ethics as the premier form of ethical judgment and excellence (virtue) required for making the often difficult ethical choices central to good lives and flourishing.  At the same time, phronēsis is widely argued to be computationally non-tractable. Phronēsis is thereby a critical focus for machine ethics, AI, and robotics.

Our track on phronēsis and computation continues explorations from previous Robophilosophy conferences, and will include presentations by: Anne Gerdes (Southern Denmark University), John D. Sullins (Sonoma State University, CA, USA), and Selmer Bringsjord (Rennsaeler Polytechnic Institute) and colleagues on the "Making Morally Competent" robots project.

Workshop 5: Political Economy of Robots

Organizer:
Zachery McDowell, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

Date:
Thursday, February 15, 10.30-12.00

Program including abstracts:
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We are - it seems - in the midst of a robot apocalypse. This invasion, however, does not look like what we have been programmed to expect from decades of science fiction literature and film. It occurs not as a spectacular catastrophe involving a marauding army of alien machines dramatically descending from the heavens with weapons of immeasurable power. Instead, it takes place, and is already taking place, in ways that look more like the Fall of Rome than Battlestar Galactica, with different devices of various configurations and capabilities slowly but surely coming to take up increasingly important and influential positions in everyday social reality—self-driving vehicles, recommendation algorithms, machine learning decision making systems, and social robots of various forms and configurations.

Critical responses to this opportunity and challenge often target and are typically concerned with the capabilities of these mechanisms, the methods of ensuring their safe operation, and the social consequences of increased automation in all parts of our world. Largely missing from the conversation is an examination of the social contexts and systems of power in which robots, AI, and other autonomous systems will be developed and deployed. If during the industrial revolution one of the operative questions was who owned and controlled the means of production, we should ask a similar question in the face of the robot revolution: who will develop, own, and control the robots? This panel seeks to remediate this oversight by initiating a conversation about the political economy of robots. In doing so, it responds directly and explicitly to the conference theme: “Envisioning Robots in Society: Politics, Power and Public Space.”

Workshop 6: The Use of Telenoids and Social Robots in Key Business Activities

Organizers:
Michael Filzmoser, TU Wien, Austria
Sabine Koeszegi, TU Wien, Austria
Sladjana Nørskov, Aarhus University, Denmark
John Ulhøi, Aarhus University, Denmark

Date:
Thursday, February 15, 10.30-12.00

Program including abstracts:
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Recent technological development suggests a potential for replacing and/or supplementing previous exclusively human-based business processes with social robots. This workshop seeks to discuss business activities in which the use of social robots may (or may not) offer potential for new ways of organizing and/or reducing existing organizational problems. In this workshop the following questions are therefore put forward: Which key social robotics-related drivers and barriers may affect the adoption process and with what effects on human behaviour? How, when, why, and under what conditions does the adoption of social robots improve business processes? These questions will be discussed from a business and management perspective.

Workshop 7: Is Machine Consciousness Necessary for True AI Ethics?

Organizers:
John P. Sullins, Sonoma State University, USA
Robin L. Zebrowski, Beloit College, USA

Date:
Thursday, February 15, 10.30-12.00

Program including abstracts:
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Drawing on work by Wallach and Allen (2008), artificial moral agents (AMAs) are AI and robotic agents that are built to consider ethical norms when deciding on actions that have moral impacts on other human and artificial agents. In this panel, we will discuss the role that consciousness might play in moral reasoning and whether artificial agents will need to have some form of consciousness in order to be effective moral agents. Regardless of the answer to this question, we will also explore whether artificial consciousness might place stronger moral clams on humans in their relations to artificial agents. Would conscious AMAs have a stronger claim to being moral patients?

Workshop 8: Exploring Ethical Responsibilities through Democratic Participation and Expert Panel Discussion

Organizers:
Cathrine Hasse, Aarhus University, Danish School of Education, Denmark
Stine Trentemøller, Aarhus University, Danish School of Education, Denmark
Jessica Sorensen, Aarhus University, Danish School of Education, Denmark
Ben Vermeulen, University of Hohenheim, Germany

Date:
Thursday, February 15, 10.30-12.00 and 14.30-16.30

Program including abstracts:
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In this document, we present a proposal for a workshop centered around the theme of robots and work, with consideration of the ethical, socio-cultural, economic and political impacts of robot implementation in the workplace. Workshop participation involves live voting, breakout groups, and an expert panel discussion. As a foundation for the workshop activities, we present our research in the REELER project. REELER aims to develop a Roadmap for responsible ethical learning in robotics to address human needs and societal concerns. We will achieve this through ethnographic research of minimum ten unique robot cases across Europe. We consider this work highly relevant to the state of affairs in robotics and industry and to the topics of this year’s Robophilosophy conference.

Workshop 9: Yumi in Action! Ethics and Engineering as Transdisciplinary Robotics Performance

Organizers:
Michael Funk, University of Vienna, Austria
Bernhard Dieber, JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Austria

Date:
Thursday, February 15, 14.30-15.30

Program including abstracts:
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This workshop aims to bring together philosophy of technology and robotics engineering with a focus on a concrete robotics application: the “ABB Yumi”. Following a transdisciplinary methodology concrete technical applications of this robot are practically performed, explained by a robotics expert and commented by a philosopher of technology. Thereby the focus will be on responsibility, risk and security as both technical as well as philosophical concepts; and on the question: How is the VDI/FEANI ethics-codex “Fundamentals of Engineering Ethics” (https://www.vdi.de/fileadmin/media/content/hg/17.pdf) concretely applied while using the robot Yumi?

Workshop 10: Cultural Spaces, Humanoid Robotics and Human Work: Performance and Debate

Organizer:
Oliver Schürer, Technische Universität Vienna, Austria

Date:
Thursday, February 15, 14.30-16.30

Program including abstracts:
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Spaces, whether private households, semi-private business premises or public spaces are not static but constantly “produced” (Lefebvre, 1991) according to cultural constraints. Hence, they are in a permanent state of change (Csáky 2009) framed by cultural values, rules, and knowledge. The production of space is never a neutral process, but always co-determined by power structures of economic interests and cultural hegemonies. Just like space, technology too is not neutral but rather part of, and deeply involved in those hegemonies. Despite the fact that humanoid robots recently started to appear in private and semi-private spaces, the technology is expected to operate in all spaces humans populate. Humanoid robots are “technical objects” (Simondon, 2012) that are understood as actors in human space. Human phantasies of the use of humanoid robots come in a variety of guises: from workers, soldiers, servants and butlers to entertainers and playmates, including sex partners. But policy agenda pushes the social aspect of assistive robots for care (elderly, autism, dementia) in the forefront of its research agendas. By leaving out the issue of space, its production, transformation and reproduction, aspects of perception as cultural casting of societies and of work as important glue of societies, complex topics that would hint towards utopian post work societies are left out.

Workshop 11: Moral Status of Robots

Organizer:
David Gunkel, Northern Illinois University, USA

Date:
Thursday, February 15, 14.30-16.30

Program including abstracts:
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Although considerable effort has been expended on the question of robots and responsibility, the question concerning “robot rights” remains conspicuously absent or at least marginalized. This workshop is designed to respond to and advance research on this other question. It is interested in and dedicated to debating the social situation and status of robots. And it does so not to be controversial, even if “controversy” is often the result of this kind of philosophical provocation, but in order to respond to very real and pressing challenges concerning innovations in technology and the current state and future possibilities of moral philosophy.

Workshop 12: Robotics in Japan: Local, Global, and "Glocal" Influences and Applications

Organizers:
Jennifer Robertson, University of Michigan, USA
Marco Nørskov, Aarhus University, Denmark and Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, Japan

Date:
Friday, February 16, 10.30-12.00 and 14.30-16.30

Program including abstracts:
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Technology, including robotics, and culture are intertwined and even mutually constitutive processes. Both technology and culture operate on many levels that are categorized for the purposes of this workshop as global, local, and “glocal.” As evident in popular and scholarly media, robots made in Japan are often described as inseparably bound to Japanese culture whereas robots made in Europe or the United States are treated as if immune from local/cultural influences and priorities. Our workshop will problematize and fine-tune the category of “Japanese robots” by exploring robots designed and manufactured in Japan AND deployed in local, global, and "glocal" contexts and environments. In addition to providing empirical information on new directions and applications in robotics, a key objective of the workshop is the development of a method of researching and representing robots and robotics that is attentive and sensitive to both the intersections and divergences of local and global, and glocal, applications.

Workshop 13: Exploring Resonsible Robotics Hands-On: A Conference Lab on Three Use Cases (SMOOTH Project))

Organizers:
Kerstin Fischer, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Johanna Seibt, Aarhus University, Denmark
Norbert Krüger, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Date:
Friday, February 16, 14.30-16.30

Program including abstracts:
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This workshop will take the form of a conference lab—it shall both illustrate and further explore in which ways wide.scope interdiscplinarity is an indispensable ingredient for the development of successful applications of social robotics.  The workshop will discuss three use cases as envisaged in the context of the SMOOTH project; currently these applications, which concern transporting and guiding functions in an eldercare facility, are being developed by robotics engineers in close collaboration with the staff of the care facility, with focus on practical functionalities.  Fundamental questions about the design of the robots (shape and movements) are still open.  The workshop will feature short ‘booster talks’ by specialists in design, ethics, interaction studies, and gerontopsychology. A joint moderated discussion with all participants will subsequently explore the significance of design choices in several regards (therapeutic, socio-cultural, and ethical). Workshop participants will get the chance to communicate their views in different ways during the workshop  The main aim of the workshop is to use the concrete design problems of the SMOOTH project in order to address general methodological questions about the implementation of current R&D paradigms currently discussed under the headers of “value-sensitive design,” “design for values,” “integrative social robotics,” and “responsible robotics.

Workshop 14: Self-Driving Fast Towards Us - Social and Ethical Implications of Autonomous Vehicles

Organizer:
Bertram Malle, Brown University, USA

Date:
Friday, February 16, 14.30-16.30

Program including abstracts:
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The rapid advance of technology supporting autonomous vehicles (AV) places significant demands on scholars, legislators, and the general public to grapple with the many social and ethical implications that this completely new form of transportation brings. This workshop features scholars from numerous disciplines to ask and discuss probing questions about a society with AVs: How and where will people live, and who will benefit? What legal frameworks are needed to integrate AVs into society? Who brings AVs in line with social and moral norms, and who is responsible when they violate those norms?