other events or meetings

Intelligence and Ethics in Machines – Utopia or Dystopia?

by Dr Vivek Nallur (University College Dublin)

500/1-001 - Main Auditorium (CERN)

500/1-001 - Main Auditorium


Show room on map

The contemplation of intelligence and/or agency among machines, in popular discourse, seems to 
settle on a future technological dystopia or conversely, a machine-led utopia. While the media creates 
these dichotomous futures, there needs to be a deeper discussion on how intelligence, agency, and 
ethics in machines will affect society. Is the expectation of ethical behaviour in machines, an all-or-
nothing proposition? Most attempts at inserting ethical behaviour into autonomous machines adopt 
the ‘designer’ approach, i.e., the ethical principles/behaviour to be implemented are known in 
advance. Some scientists have tried to use rule-based evaluation of moral choices, reinforcement-
learning, and logic-based approaches to adding ethics in robots/software. However, all these 
approaches assume a single moral agent interacting with a single moral recipient. What happens when 
‘real’ sociality meets AI? This talk will take a whirlwind tour of machine ethics implementations in 
robots and software agents, while touching upon the issues, and the challenges involved in answering 
the above questions. 


Vivek Nallur is an assistant professor at the School of Computer Science, at University College Dublin. 
He obtained his MS at Carnegie Mellon University and PhD at the University of Birmingham, UK. His 
research interests include machine ethics, autonomous and adaptive systems, and emergent 
behaviour. His career has spanned working for small startups in India and the UK, large software 
companies in Palo Alto, and research and educational institutions in multiple countries. 

Organized by

CERN openlab

There is a live webcast for this event