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Robotics and Automation Society [RA-24]

Society on Social Implications of Technology and Robotics & Automation Society

6:00 PM, Tuesday, 6 May

How to NOT Build a Terminator

Dr. Ronald C. Arkin, Georgia Institute of Technology

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 ICRAC), to directly governing the behavior of lethal robots in a manner consistent with International Humanitarian Law (research in the Georgia Tech Mobile Robot Laboratory).

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, and is 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.

This meeting is free and open to the public. It will be held 6 – 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Beaver Works in Kendall Sq., 300 Technology Square, Suite 202 (second floor), MIT Building NE45-202, Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please contact Emily Anesta, eanesta@ieee.org, (781) 981-6731, or visit the IEEE website at http://www.ieeeboston.org/.

DINNER INFORMATION: A no-host dinner and discussion will begin after the talk at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, at a restaurant in the area, (to be announced at the meeting).

The meeting will take place at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Beaver Works in Kendall Sq., 300 Technology Square, Suite 202 (second floor), MIT Building NE45-202, Cambridge, Massachusetts, (http://whereis.mit.edu/?go=NE45). MIT is accessible via public transportation by taking the Red Line subway to the Kendall/MIT Station, or via bus on the #1, CT1 and CT2 routes. There is metered street parking and pay lots in the area subject to availability. Further information on getting to MIT can be found at the MIT web site (http://whereis.mit.edu/directions.html).