Thursday, August 20, 2009

Report on the Social, Legal and Ethical Issues

The Royal Academy of Engineering has released a report on, Autonomous Systems: Social, Legal and Ethical Issues. The full report is available online.

1. Introduction
1.1 What is an autonomous system?
1.2 The ethical, legal and social implications of autonomous systems
2. Autonomous road vehicles
2.1 Technologies – from GPS and car-to-car communication to centrally
controlled autonomous highways
2.2 Timescales and transformation
2.3 Barriers: ethical, legal and social
2.4 Recommended actions
3. Artificial companions and smart homes
3.1 Technologies – from blood pressure monitoring to Second Life
3.2 Timescales and transformation
3.3 Barriers: ethical, legal and social
3.4 Recommended actions
4. Conclusions
4.1 Communication and engagement
4.2 Regulation and governance
4.3 Ethical considerations
4.4 Looking for applications
4.5 The wider landscape
5. Appendices
5.1 Working group and acknowledgement
5.2 Statement of Ethical Principles

Those attending the roundtable upon which this report is based, as well as two additional contributors, include:

Professor Igor Aleksander FREng, Emeritus Professor
Imperial College London
Rob Alexander, Department of Computer Science, the University of York
Professor William Bardo FREng, Systems Engineering for Autonomous
Systems Defence Technology Centre
Ginny Clarke, the Highways Agency
Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal FREng, BAE Systems
Professor Martin Earwicker FREng, Vice-Chancellor,
London Southbank University
Dr Patrick Finley, Medimatron
Professor Peter Gore, Institute of Ageing and Health, University of Newcastle
Professor Roger Kemp FREng, Engineering Department,
University of Lancaster
Dr Lesley Paterson, The Royal Academy of Engineering
Dr Mike Steeden, Defence Science Technology Laboratory
Professor Will Stewart FREng
Dr Alan Walker, The Royal Academy of Engineering
Dr Blay Whitby, The University of Sussex
Michael Wong, IBM

Dr Chris Elliott FREng, Pitchill Consulting
Professor Noel Sharkey, University of Sheffield

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