The primary focus of this special issue will be on machine ethics, that is the question of how autonomous systems can be imbued with ethical values. Ethical autonomous systems are needed because, inevitably, near future systems are moral agents; consider driverless cars, or medical diagnosis AIs, both of which will need to make choices with ethical consequences. Using the terminology of James Moor (2006) we seek papers that deal with both implicit ethical agents, that is machines designed to avoid unethical outcomes, and explicit ethical agents, that is machines which either explicitly encode or learn ethics and determine actions based on those ethics. Of course ethical machines are socio-technical systems thus, as a secondary focus, we invite papers that explore the educational, societal and regulatory implications of machine ethics, including the issue of ethical governance. Ethical governance is needed in order to develop standards and processes that allow us to transparently and robustly assure the safety of ethical autonomous systems and hence build public trust and confidence.
 James H. Moor: The Nature, Importance, and Difficulty of Machine Ethics, IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 18-21, July/August 2006.
Submission of papers: May 15, 2017
Reviews back to authors: Aug 15, 2017
Submission of revised papers: Sep 15, 2017
Final decision for all papers: Oct 15, 2017
Complete issue to Editorial Office: Nov 15, 2017
Publication: Dec 2017 - Jan 2018
Invited Papers from the Following Authors who have accepted to participate:
Amanda Sharkey and Noel Sharkey, Sheffield University, UK
David J. Gunkel, Northern Illinois University, USA
Ema Arisa, Hirotaka Osawa et al., University of Tokyo, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Huw Price and Stephen Cave, Cambridge University, UK
Meg Leta Jones, Kate Darling, Georgetown University, MIT Media Labs, USA
Michael Fisher and L.A. Dennis, University of Liverpool, UK
Peter Asaro, The New School, USA
Ramona Pringle, Isabel Pedersen, Avner Levin, Ann Cavoukian, Ryerson University, UOIT, Canada
Stuart Russell, UC-Berkeley, USA
Wendell Wallach, Yale University, USA
* Note: Invitations do not imply acceptance of final papers. Authors invited to submit full papers will undergo a rigorous peer review process. Papers not accepted for the PIEEE special may be considered for other publication outlets (e.g. IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, or IEEE Technology and Society Magazine).
Guest Editor Details
Bristol Robotics Laboratory
Alan Winfield is Professor of Robot Ethics at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK, and Visiting Professor at the University of York. He received his PhD in Digital Communications from the University of Hull in 1984, then co-founded and led APD Communications Ltd until taking-up appointment at UWE, Bristol in 1991. Winfield co-founded the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and his research is focussed on understanding the nature and limits of robot intelligence. He is a member of the editorial boards of Swarm Intelligence and the Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, and an associate editor of Evolutionary Robotics.
Winfield is passionate about communicating research and ideas in science, engineering and technology; he led UK wide public engagement project Walking with Robots, awarded the 2010 Royal Academy of Engineering Rooke medal for public promotion of engineering. Winfield is an advocate for robot ethics; he was co-organiser and member of the 2010 EPSRC/AHRC working group that drafted the Principles of Robotics; he was a member of the team that drafted British Standard BS 8611: Guide to the ethical design and application of robots and robotic systems (2016), and he currently co-chairs the General Principles committee for the IEEE global initiative on Ethical Considerations in Autonomous Systems. He serves on the Ethics Advisory Board for the EU flagship Human Brain Project, and is a member of the WEF Global Future Council on the Future of Technology, Values and Policy.
Winfield has published over 200 works, including Robotics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2012), and lectures widely on robotics (including robot ethics) presenting to both academic and public audiences.
Boden, M., Bryson, J., Caldwell, D., Dautenhahn, K., Edwards, L., Kember, S., Newman, P., Parry, V., Pegman, G., Rodden, T., Sorell, T., Wallis, M., Whitby, B. and Winfield, A. F. (2011) Principles of Robotics. The United Kingdom’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Website.
Winfield, A. F. (2012) Robotics: A very short introduction. Oxford University Press.
Grand, A., Wilkinson, C., Bultitude, K. and Winfield, A. F. (2012) Open Science: A new 'trust technology'? Science Communication, 34 (5). pp. 679-689.
Woodman, R., Winfield, A. F., Harper, C. and Fraser, M. (2012) Building safer robots: Safety driven control. International Journal of Robotics Research, 31 (13). pp. 1603-1626.
Winfield, A. F., Blum, C. and Liu, W. (2014) Towards an ethical robot: Internal models, consequences and ethical action selection. In: Mistry, M., Leonardis, Aleš, Witkowski, M. and Melhuish, C., eds. Advances in Autonomous Robotics Systems, Springer, pp. 85-96.
Dennis, L. A., Fisher, M. and Winfield, A. F. (2015) Towards verifiably ethical robot behaviour. In: Proceedings of the twenty-ninth AAAI conference on artificial intelligence, Texas, USA, January 2015.
Grand, A., Wilkinson, C., Bultitude, K. and Winfield, A. F. (2016) Mapping the hinterland: Data issues in open science. Public Understanding of Science, 25 (1). pp. 88-103.
Winfield, A. F. (2016) Written evidence submitted to the UK Parliamentary Select Committee on Science and Technology Inquiry on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Discussion Paper. Science and Technology Committee (Commons), Website.
University of Wollongong
Katina Michael is Professor who researchers the Socio-ethical Implications of Emerging Technologies at the University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia, and is a Visiting Professor at Nanjing University, and Visiting Academic at the University of Southampton. She began her career working for Nortel Networks as a telecommunications engineer in 1996, and received her PhD in Information and Communication Technology from the University of Wollongong in 2003. Michael became the editor in chief of IEEE Technology & Society Magazine in 2012, and senior editor of IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine in 2015. Michael also has a masters degree from the law faculty at the University of Wollongong where she studied national security. Her research focuses on the interplay between technological innovation, societal concerns, ethics, law and regulation, and the impact of intended and unintended consequences.
Michael is the Routledge series editor of Emerging Technologies, Ethics and International Affairs of which several volumes are related to social robots, healthcare robots and drones. She has co-edited a dozen special issues for a variety of journals including PIEEE, IEEE Potentials, IEEE Computer, IEEE Technology & Society Magazine, Computer Communications on topics related to converging technologies: RFID, Location-Based Services, Big Data and Embedded Systems.
Michael has held an annual workshop which is now in its tenth year on the Social Implications of National Security, that was originally funded by the Australian Research Council. She has presented to Prime Minister & Cabinet, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, and and Booze & Allen around emerging technologies in law enforcement and defence. She also was awarded a large ARC-Discovery Project grant in 2008 on Telecommunications Policy on the topic of Location-based Services Regulation in Australia and was the director of the IP Location Services Programme which was jointly sponsored by Andrews Corporation. Michael has published widely across disciplines including Technology, Security, Law, Policy, Media, and Culture.
L Perusco, K Michael, 2007. Control, trust, privacy, and security: evaluating location-based services, IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 26 (1), 4-16.
Michael, K. & Michael, M. G. (2007). “Homo Electricus and the Continued Speciation of Humans”. In Marian Quigley (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Information Ethics and Security (pp. 312-318). United States of America: IGI Global.
MG Michael, SJ Fusco, K Michael, 2008. A research note on ethics in the emerging age of überveillance, Computer Communications, 31 (6), 1192-1199.
KD Stephan, K Michael, MG Michael, L Jacob, EP Anesta, 2012. Social implications of technology: The past, the present, and the future, Proceedings of the IEEE 100 (Special Centennial Issue), 1752-1781.
Katina Michael, M.G. Michael, 2012. "Implementing Namebers Using Microchip Implants: The Black Box Beneath The Skin", in Jeremy Pitt (ed) This Pervasive Day: The Potential and Perils of Pervasive Computing.
K Michael, KW Miller, 2013. Big data: New opportunities and new challenges, Computer, 46 (6), 22-24.
K Michael, MG Michael, 2013. No limits to watching? Communications of the ACM, 56 (11), 26-28.
K Michael, MG Michael, 2013. The future prospects of embedded microchips in humans as unique identifiers: the risks versus the rewards, Media, Culture & Society, 35 (1), 78-86.
MG Michael, K Michael, 2016. National security: the social implications of the politics of transparency, Prometheus, 24 (4), 359-363.
Imperial College London
Jeremy Pitt is Professor of Intelligent and Self-Organising Systems in the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering (EEE) at Imperial College London. He was awarded a PhD in Computing from the Department of Computing, Imperial College London, in 1991, and was appointed to a Lectureship in the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering in 1996, followed by promotion to Senior Lecturer (2000), Reader in Intelligent Systems (2004) and Professor (September 2015).
Pitt’s research programme focuses on developing formal models of social processes using computational logic, and their application to self-organising and multi-agent systems, for example in agent societies, agent communication languages, and electronic institutions. This work has produced a number of innovative software systems, most recently the multi-agent simulation platform PreSage-2 and the serious game Social mPower.
Since joining EEE, Pitt has taught courses on Software Engineering, Human-Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence, has graduated 17 PhD students, and has acted as Deputy Head of the Intelligent Systems & Networks research group since 2005. He also has a strong interest in the social impact of technology, and has edited two recent books, This Pervasive Day (IC Press, 2012) and The Computer After Me (IC Press, 2014). Articles on his work have appeared in Wired magazine, the Financial Times, and Süddeutsche Zeitung.
He has published more than 200 articles in journals, international conferences, workshops and book chapters, winning a number of Best Paper prizes. Pitt is a Senior Member of the ACM, a Fellow of the BCS (British Computer Society), and a Fellow of the IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology); he is also an Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems (TAAS) and an Associate Editor of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine.
Jeremy Pitt, Aikaterini Bourazeri, Andrzej Nowak, Magdalena Roszczynska-Kurasinska, Agnieszka Rychwalska, Inmaculada Rodríguez Santiago, Maite López-Sánchez, Monica Florea, Mihai Sanduleac: Transforming Big Data into Collective Awareness. IEEE Computer 46(6): 40-45 (2013)
Jeremy Pitt, Dídac Busquets, Sam Macbeth: Distributive Justice for Self-Organised Common-Pool Resource Management. TAAS 9(3): 14:1-14:39 (2014)
Jeremy Pitt, Andrzej Nowak: The Reinvention of Social Capital for Socio-Technical Systems. IEEE Technol. Soc. Mag. 33(1): 27-33 (2014)
Jeremy Pitt, Alexander Artikis: The open agent society: retrospective and prospective views. Artif. Intell. Law 23(3): 241-270 (2015)
Jeremy Pitt, Dídac Busquets, Régis Riveret: The pursuit of computational justice in open systems. AI Soc. 30(3): 359-378 (2015)
Sam Macbeth, Jeremy Pitt: Self-organising management of user-generated data and knowledge. Knowledge Eng. Review 30(3): 237-264 (2015)
University of Twente
Vanessa Evers is a full professor of Computer Science at the University of Twente’s Human Media Interaction group and Director of the DesignLab for multidisciplinary research. She received a M.SC. in Information Systems from the University of Amsterdam, and a Ph. D. from the Open University, UK. During her Master studies she spent two years at the Institute of Management Information Studies of the University of New South Wales, Sydney. After her Ph.D. she has worked for the Boston Consulting Group, London and later became an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam’s Institute of Informatics. She was a visiting researcher at Stanford University (2005-2007). Her research interests focus on on interaction with intelligent and autonomous systems such as robots or machine learning systems as well as cultural aspects of Human Computer Interaction. She has published over 80 peer reviewed publications, many of which in high quality journals and conferences in human computer interaction and human robot interaction. She serves on Program Committees of ACM/IEEE HRI, ACM SIGCHI, HSI, ACM CSCW and ACM Multimedia.
Evers is frequently interviewed about her work on national public tv, newspapers or magazines. She won the best thesis prize awarded by the Dutch National Society of Registered Information Specialists, was co-author of the James Chen best paper award of the journal on User Modeling and User Adapted Interaction together with then her Ph.D. student Henriette Cramer. She holds the 2014 Opzij talent award. Vanessa is an editor for the International Journal of Social Robotics, she is co-chair of the ACM International Human Robot Interaction Steering Committee and Associate Editor of the Human Robot Interaction Journal.
Evers Representative Publications
Heerink, M., B.J.A. Kröse, B.J. Wielinga, and V. Evers (2010). Measuring acceptance of assistive social agent technology by older adults: the Almere model. International Journal of Social Robotics, 2(4), 361-375.
Wang, L., Rau, P-L., Evers, V., Robinson, B., Hinds, P. (2010). When in Rome: The role of culture and context in the adherence to robot recommendations. Proceedings of the 5th ACM/IEEE international conference on Human Robot Interaction, HRI’10, Osaka.
Lazar, J., Abascal, J., Davis, J., Evers, V., Gulliksen, J., Jorge, J., McEwan, T., Paterno, F., Persson , H., Prates, R., Von Axelson, H., Winckler, M., Wulf, V. (2012). Public Policy Activities in 2012 Related to Human-Computer Interaction: A 10-Country Discussion. Interactions 19(3).
Joosse, M.P., Sardar, A., Lohse, M. & Evers, V. (2013). BEHAVE-II: The Revised Set of Measures to Assess Users’ Attitudinal and Behavioral Responses to a Social Robot. International Journal of Social Robotics, 5(3), 379-388.
Gallego-Perez, M. Lohse, and V. Evers, “Improving psychological wellbeing with robots” in 24th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), 2015.
F.C.A. Groen, G. Pavlin, A. Winterboer, V. Evers (2016) A hybrid approach to decision making and information fusion: Combining humans and artificial agents, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Available online 30 September 2016, ISSN 0921-8890, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.robot.2016.08.009.