ETHICBOTS will promote and coordinate a multidisciplinary group of researchers into artificial intelligence, robotics, anthropology, moral philosophy, philosophy of science, psychology, and cognitive science, with the common purpose of identifying and anal yzing techno-ethical issues concerning the integration of human beings and artificial (software/hardware) entities. Three kinds of integration will be analized: (a) Human-softbot integration, as achieved by AI research on information and communication tec hnologies; (b) Human-robot, non-invasive integration, as achieved by robotic research on autonomous systems inhabiting human environments; (c) Physical, invasive integration, as achieved by bionic research. Crucial ethical issues in these areas include th e preservation of human identity, and integrity; applications of precautionary principles; economic and social discrimination; artificial system autonomy and accountability; responsibilities for (possibly unintended) warfare applications; nature and impact of human-machine cognitive and affective bonds on individuals and society. The proposed coordinated work will enable one to establish a techno-ethically aware community of researchers, at a European level, by promoting workshops, training and disseminatio n activities. Moreover, the proposed CA aims at developing the capability of researchers to communicate in understandable ways with journalists, policy makers, concerned citizens, and wider audiences of non-specialists. A knowledge-base on techno-ethical i ssues will be set up to serve both internal and external dissemination purposes. Finally, ETHICBOTS will provide inputs to EU and national institutions for techno-ethical monitoring, warning, and opinion generation. In each of these activities, ETHICBOTS a ims at shifting attention from limitation to encouragement, guidance, and promotion of responsible scientific and technological research.
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