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National Workshop Led By OCU Professors Will Examine Robot Ethics

Two faculty members from Oklahoma City University and one from Southern New Hampshire University have organized a full-day workshop on human-robot interaction in elder care. The workshop is scheduled to take place in San Francisco Aug. 8 during the 25th annual conference on artificial intelligence sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).

Dr. Susan Barnes and Dr. Ted Metzler from OCU, working with Dr. Lundy Lewis at SNHU, brought together researchers from Japan, Singapore, New Zealand and U.S. universities from four states to share and discuss information concerning an emerging technology known as “assistive robotics.”  Technology companies are working to develop robots capable of assisting with the health care of the growing number of older people in many nations. Presentations at the workshop will focus on topics concerning human-robot interaction (HRI) in elder care including HRI and quality of life in elder care, effects of human age in HRI, human-like spatial language for HRI, a general perceptual model for eldercare robots and the ethics of using PARO (a robotic seal pup) with dementia patients.

In addition, a special keynote presentation dealing with “machine ethics” in application to elder care will feature a live demonstration of a walking humanoid robot that is capable of using moral reasoning while it reminds elderly people to take their medications.

Workshop organizers also have produced accompanying promotional material and a Facebook group website called “HRI in Elder Care,” which they expect to use after completion of the workshop for conducting ongoing follow-up dialogue. 

For more information about the AAAI conference, visit the link: