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Prof. Dr. Gordon Pipa
Institute of Cognitive Science, Neuroinformatics, University Osnabrück, Germany
A cognitive computing approach to self-driving cars and ethics.
Self-driving cars are posing a new challenge to our ethics. By using algorithms to make decisions in situations where harming humans is possible, probable or even unavoidable, a self-driving car’s ethical behavior comes pre-defined. Ad hoc decisions are made in milliseconds, but can be based on extensive research and debates. The same algorithms are also likely to be used in millions of cars at a time, increasing the impact of any inherent biases, and increasing the importance of getting it right. I will present a cognitive computing system, that is a combination of immersive virtual reality, to assess ethical behavior in simulated road traffic scenarios, and use the collected data to train and evaluate a range of decision models and machine learning tools to model this behavior to allow machines to behave as humans do.
In this talk, I will present the experimental results and guide the audience to discuss the ethical consequences. The talk will end with key questions that we need to address as a society today in order to be ready for a new time, in which our living space is shared between autonomous system and us. Keep in mind that autonomous cars seem to be just the beginning.
Bio: Prof. Pipa is currently chair of the Neuroinformatics Lab at the Institute of Cognitive Science at Osnabrück University, Germany. He started this position after research positions at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. He studied physics with a focus on complex systems and statistical physics, holds a Ph.D. degree in computer science and Habilitation in biology. Additionally, he holds several patents in the domain of neuro-inspired image processing. Currently, his research is focused on cognitive computing systems, that fuse artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language based interactions with humans.