Smart robots, driverless cars work – but they bring ethical issues too

From personalised searches of Google to the seductive experience of driverless cars, from educational robots that hone your French to prosthetics that are stronger and faster than our own limbs: artificial intelligence is poised to revolutionise our lives.
Now scientists, legal experts and philosophers are joining forces to scrutinise the promise of intelligent systems and wrangle over their implications. This week in Brighton, the fourth EuCogIII members’ conference is set to tackle these issues head on. “Fundamentally we’re interested in considering the ethical and societal impact of such systems,” says Alan Winfield, professor of electronic engineering at UWE Bristol. It is time, he says, to make some crucial decisions. “If we get it wrong, there are consequences right now.”