Posted on Jan 31, 2008

“Robot Minds and Human Ethics,” a lecture and discussion with Wendell Wallach, educator, artificial intelligence researcher and author of the forthcoming book, “Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong,” will be held Tuesday, Feb. 5, 5:30 p.m., in Social Sciences 016. A reception will begin at 5.

The event is sponsored by the Rapaport Ethics Across the Curriculum, Computer Science, Engineering and the Dean of Studies Office.

Among the questions Wallach will explore are whether it is possible to design software agents and robots capable of making moral judgments (Artificial Moral Agents, or AMAs); and whether it is possible to implement moral theories such as utilitarianism, Kant’s s categorical imperative, Aristotle’s virtues and the Golden Rule for robots in computational systems.

“Designing artificial systems sensitive to moral considerations forces us to think deeply about human decision making and ethics, and the ways in which we humans may differ from the artificial entities we will create,” Wallach says.

The ethics initiative is also sponsoring “On Prostituting the Work We Love:

A Workshop on Teaching Research Integrity,” Thursday, Feb. 14, 12:30 to 1:40 p.m. in Everest Lounge with Robert Baker, the William D. Williams Professor
of Philosophy and program director and professor of Bioethics of the Bioethics Program at Union Graduate College.

For more information about Ethics Across the Curriculum, visit