Queensland Museum

SALON: Make Way For Warbots?

13/03/2016 Queensland Museum
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Queensland Museum


Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia




11:00 - 12:30


Adult: $20 Concession: $15
Ron Arkin Participant Ron Arkin
Graham Phillips Moderator Graham Phillips
Rob Sparrow Participant Rob Sparrow

SALON: Make Way for Warbots?

Lethal autonomous weapons systems that can target opponents do not yet exist—and human rights groups hope they never will. As argued at the 2015 Convention on Conventional Weapons in Geneva, killer robots only make war more likely. But proponents say robots may actually save lives.

Not only are they more precise, they would eliminate the emotional decision-making that often arises in the fog of war. With development of warbots now underway, this Salon spotlights an important debate on the moral benefits and costs of these killer machines.

What is a Salon event?
World Science Festival Brisbane SALON events invite you to dive deeper into the science of specific topics, these informal discussions challenge participants to consider their shared passions from a fresh perspective.

By starting a dialogue, the Salon is designed to spark new explorations of science by the participants and the audience. The Salon sessions are smaller in capacity so audience and participants can enter into conversation at a detailed and thorough level.

Meet the Speakers

Ron Arkin is regents’ professor and associate dean for research in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. He served as visiting professor at KTH in Stockholm; Sabbatical Chair at the Sony IDL in Tokyo; and the Robotics and AI Group at LAAS/CNRS in Toulouse.

Arkin’s research interests include behavior-based control and action-oriented perception for mobile robots and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), human-robot interaction, robot ethics, and learning in autonomous systems. Arkin served on the Board of Governors of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology and is a founding co-chair of IEEE RAS TC on Robot Ethics.

Graham Phillips
is one of the most accomplished science communicators in Australia with 20 years experience as a journalist and commentator. Prior to joining Catalyst, Graham was a reporter on ABC TV’s science and technology programs: Quantum and Hot Chips.

Graham has a PhD in astrophysics and has lectured and researched at various universities as well as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). He has penned columns for almost every major Australian newspaper and has somehow found the time to write four popular science books, including Our Fabulous Future and Secrets of Science II.

Rob Sparrow is a professor in the Philosophy program; a chief investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science; and an adjunct professor in the Centre for Human Bioethics, at Monash University, where he works on ethical issues raised by new technologies. He is the author of some 70 refereed papers and book chapters on topics ranging from the ethics of military robotics, to cloning and nanotechnology. He is a co-chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Robot Ethics and was one of the founding members of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control.

Queensland Museum

Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia