Research in the World lecture asks how to keep robots ethical

Professor Alan Winfield from the Bristol Robotics Lab will put the case for a new ethical code for roboticists, in a free public lecture at the University on Tuesday 20 November.

The future of robotics is a question that receives a great deal of attention because of the fictional roots of robots and the place they hold in our cultural imagination.

Professor Winfield’s lecture, The Ethical Roboticist, will unpick the fantastical from the plausible to set aside fears and fascinations that have little to do with the reality of robotics.

He said: “Like any transformative technology, intelligent robotics has the potential for huge benefit, but is not without risk. Seventy years ago Asimov created his fictional laws of robotics. I believe it is now time for a revision but it makes little sense to talk about how present-day or near-future robots can be ethical. I will, however, outline the case for a new ethical code for roboticists.”

Professor Winfield is based at the University of the West of England’s (UWE) Department of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and carries out his research in mobile robotics at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, which is a collaborative partnership between UWE and the University of Bristol.

He is Director of the Science Communication Unit at UWE and an EPSRC Senior Media Fellow.

The lecture is part of the University’s Research in the World lecture series. It will be held at 6.15pm at the Claverton campus in Lecture Theatre 8 West 2.1. Free parking is available in the West Car Park after 5pm.

To book a place please email Paula McGrane or call 01225 386631.

For more information about the University’s lecture programme please visit:

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