Thursday, January 03, 2008

Gianmarco Veruggio - Roboethics

Talking Robots: Gianmarco Veruggio - Roboethics In this interview we talk to Gianmarco Veruggio who founded the association Scuola di Robotica in Genova (Italy) to study the complex relationship between Robotics and Society. This led him to coin the term and propose the concept of Roboethics, or the field of Ethics applied to robotics (Wikipedia).

He's since then been touring the world to raise awareness of governments and scientists over the important questions which need to be addressed to allow for a smooth "robot invasion" into our lives. Topics such as the use of robots in our everyday environments, the lethality and benefits of medical robots or military robots, augmented humans and robots as human-like artifacts are finally being discussed thanks to Veruggio's efforts in chairing international conferences and workshops including the First International Symposium on Roboethics (2004), the EURON Roboethics Atelier (2006), the IEEE ICRA07 Workshop on Roboethics and the ECAP07 Workshop on the Philisophy and Ethics of Robotics.

Next steps include the implementation of limits, laws, roadmaps and recommendations guaranteeing the peaceful cohabitation of humans and robots. While Asimov already had his three laws of robotics back in 1942, governments are only just starting to get interested with examples such as the Draft Guidelines to Secure the Safe Performance of Next Generation Robots (Japan), South Korea's Robo Ethics Charter and EURON's Roboethics Roadmap . And in the end, who should we be protecting, the robots or the humans?

If you feel like you need more brain food, don't miss the upcoming 52min documentary entitled "Ciao Robot" or "Hello Robot" (English version) interviewing high profile scientists on the ethical aspects of their research (trailer below).

Gianmarco Veruggio's interests also encompass robot mission control, real-time human-machine interfaces, control system architectures for tele-robotics and Internet Robotics. His approach is the development of working prototypes to be exploited in a Virtual Lab environment. In 2007 he joined the CNR-IEIIT as a Senior Research Scientist.



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