Workshops

Workshop 1: Artificial Empathy

Organizers:
Luisa Damiano, University of Messina, IT
Paul Dumouchel, Ristumeikan University, JP
Hagen Lehmann, Italian Institute of Technology, IT

Date:
Monday, October 17

Program including abstracts:
Please click here

This is the fourth in a series of workshops held at international conferences (i.e., ICSR 2012; ICDL-EPIROB 2013; ALIFE14) to explore a central issue in contemporary research on social robots: the problem of creating agents able to participate competently in affective exchanges with human partners. Current scientific inquiry on artificial empathy and emotion is stimulated by a network of questions arising in different fields, such as Affective, Cognitive, Developmental and Social Robotics, HRI, Philosophy and Epistemology, Cognitive, Anthropological, Social and Ethical Sciences. Among these issues are the theoretical problems of defining how “natural” emotions could be implemented in “artificial” agents. Can these agents “experience” emotions, or only “express” them? Are there conditions in which we can consider artificial agents as partners in emotional and empathic relations? Questions like these are inseparable from the issues related to the implementation of theoretical models in our social environments. Which are the current implementable models? Which are the targeted social environments? What are the implications and the results? These questions inevitably involve problems connected to anthropological, social and ethical aspects of artificial empathy.

Workshop 2: Co-Designing Children-Robot-Interaction

Organizers:
David Robert, Center for Children’s Speculative Design, US
Victor van den Bergh, Center for Children’s Speculative Design, US

Date:
Tuesday, October 18

Program including abstracts:
Please click here

This workshop at Robophilosophy 2016 will explore approaches for designing robots for children that incorporate the needs and preferences of children, themselves. An interdisciplinary panel of speakers with experience in the theory and practice of child-robot interaction (CRI) will present their work and ideas, specifically where these speak to the experiences of children and lessons learned about their preferences for social interactions with robots in various domains (e.g. the educational context). Critical issues regarding the ethics of child-robot interaction will be discussed and consideration will be given to appropriate methods of inquiry and research in CRI. This workshop will also include a facilitated, group thought experiment and activity that bridges the imaginations of children and adults leading towards recommendations for all those concerned with the ethical design of child-robot interactions.

 

Workshop 3: Human-Robot Joint Action

Organizers:
Aurélie Clodic, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, FR
John Michael, University of Warwick, UK, and Central European University, HU

Date:
Tuesday, October 18

Program including abstracts:
Please click here

It is interesting to observe, from a roboticist point of view, that human-human joint action is a topic of intense research in cognitive psychology and philosophy. This observation led us to implement a multi-disciplinary initiative to create a unique opportunity for scientific exchange through a series of workshops called "toward a Framework for Joint Action" (fja.sciencesconf.org). Psychologists and philosophers can present recent developments in joint action research, while roboticists are able to discuss the challenges they face with regard to human-robot interaction and more precisely human-robot joint activity. For this sixth edition, we will focus on Commitment and agency management in joint action. Robots are becoming increasingly flexible agents, able to perform a broader range of actions in diverse contexts, and to adapt their actions to coordinate with human co-actors. This increasing flexibility brings with it new challenges: the more flexible a robot agent is, the more uncertainty a human agent may have about how the robot is going to act. Moreover, robots have to identify and keep track of various action options, and to prioritize some action options. In meeting this challenge, roboticists have been developing various capacities and features that facilitate predictability and communication, from eye gaze and kinematics, to emotional expressions and responsiveness to human emotional expression. In addition, some researchers have worked on higher-level cognitive features, such as the sense of commitment, which may lead robots to resist distraction or alternative action options, and may lead humans also to expect robots to do so, and thus to be willing to rely upon robots. The current workshop will aim towards the articulation of goals and benchmarks toward which this research aims.

Workshop 4: Robots in the Wild

Organizers:
Maja Hojer Bruun, Aalborg University, DK
Cathrine Hasse, Aarhus University, DK

Date:
Wednesday, October 19

Program including abstracts:
Please click here

Social robots are beginning to appear more and more in people's lives, in schools and educational settings, in work places and leisure activities. According to recent research it is envisioned that robots will constitute up to 40% of our future labour market. Often people's interactions with social robots differ from the ways envisaged by their designers, in ways unexpected even by the people who let the robots into their own or others’ lives. In this workshop we will discuss how people react to robots and engage with them, in a variety of contexts, and what imaginaries the robots in these contexts bring about, support or challenge. We see several related approaches to studies of social robots: a) media studies engaging in analysis of media representations of robots; b) studies of robots in laboratories and controlled settings; and c) studies of robots ‘in the wild,’ i.e., robots as marketing products or prototypes implemented in real life settings. Robo-philosophy must take account of empirical studies in order to make the most relevant philosophical contributions to the field of HRI (Human-Robot Interaction).

Questions to be discussed in the workshop include: How is social interaction and that which constitutes 'the social' re-configured through human-robot interaction in the wild? How do robots affect ongoing social practices and vice versa? What kind of learning is involved? Are there cultural differences in how we learn to engage with robots? When, where, and why do humans accept or reject robots in the wild? What kind of challenges do we foresee for ‘robot societies’ of the future?

Workshop 5: Artificial Phronesis

Organizers:
Charles Ess, University of Oslo, NO 

Date:
Thursday, October 20

Program including abstracts:
Please click here

As social robots become increasingly sophisticated in both implementation and future designs and aspirations, they become correlatively central as both theoretical and empirical test-beds for an array of specifically ethical challenges and reflections. First of all, as these devices are endowed with ever greater capacities for autonomy, both ethicists and designers are forced to confront central questions of ethical responsibility and decision-making. Many approaches are driven by deontological and utilitarian considerations (e.g., the [in]famous Trolley problem as a model for programming [semi-]autonomous vehicles). But virtue ethics approaches are commanding more attention in recent years, especially in conjunction with care robots and sex bots, where human love and care are inextricably interwoven with emotions more broadly, and love and care are themselves understood as virtues, i.e., habits or practices of excellence that must be cultivated rather than assumed as a given in human nature (S. Vallor, A. van Wynsberghe., C. Ess). Virtue ethics foregrounds in particular the central role of phronesis as a form of reflective, situated moral intuition and judgment. For several reasons, some of us have argued that phronesis is not computationally tractable and thereby demarcates a primary limitation on the possibilities of creating and programming ethical robots (C. Ess, A. Gerdes). At the same time, human phronesis requires both embodiment and emotions, including love and care. Where genuine emotion and embodiment – as well as first-person phenomenal consciousness (S. Bringsjord) – likewise appear beyond the possibilities of AI and thus social robots, these further demarcate what may remain intransigent boundaries between humans and machines – where these boundaries in turn hold enormous implications for resulting human-machine communication, relationships, and ethics. Our panel brings together many of the leading philosophers and theorists in these debates, with the goal of further refining our understanding of human phronesis and how far an artificial phronesis (John Sullins) may be possible – with a broader view towards the ethical implications for designing, programming, and interacting with social robots, including carebots and sexbots.

Workshop 6: Responsible Robotics

Organizers including abstracts:
Aimee van Wynsberghe, University of Twente, NL
Noel Sharkey, University of Sheffield, UK

Date:
Friday, October 21

Program including abstracts:
Please click here

The phrase responsible robotics (RR) demands that the issues of responsibility for a given robot application be addressed at all stages of design (idea generation, prototyping, researching, development and implementation). Moreover, this phrase demands that the person responsible for the actions of the robot be made explicit at each of these developmental stages. The currency of the phrase does not stop there; it also demands that policy and law considerations fall under the umbrella of RR. Thus, RR has the potential to become a roadmap for the future of robotics, one that incorporates the many layers of the ethical, legal and societal issues. In short, our goal is to proactively address the multidimensional nature of robotics using the concept of responsibility and to provide coherence in order to move ahead in an interdisciplinary manner. The workshop will consist of two panels each with differing aims. The first will address questions concerning the conceptual and theoretical foundations for responsible robotics. For this we draw on the field of moral philosophy and highlight the works of Shannon Vallor, John Sullins, Peter Asaro, Raul Hakli, Pekka Mäkelä, and Arto Laitinen The second will build on the meta-ethical discussion and will center on the questions concerning the applied dimension of robotics. For this panel we have selected specific case studies and will address issues related to: urban robotics (Michael Nagenborg), drones used in the media (Deborah Johnson and Astrid Gynnild), the timing of creating policy and guidelines for drones in civil applications (Peter Novitsky), and a framework for ethical governance in robotics (Alan Winfield). In what follows we will present a short abstract regarding the introduction to responsible robotics as well as an overview of each of the differing panels.