23-24 October 2013 - Fourth EUCogIII Members Conference, Falmer/Brighton

"Social and Ethical Aspects of Cognitive Systems"

Organizers: Ron Chrisley (UOS) & Vincent C. Müller (Anatolia/ACT)

Local Organizer: Simon Bowes

Venue: University of Sussex, Falmer/Brighton, UK www.sussex.ac.uk.

Description: Cognitive systems research has a growing impact on society that will soon be very substantial several areas: e.g., industry; the workplace environment; transport; the employment economy; entertainment; healthcare; the military; even our conception of ourselves and what it is to be human. However, there are different perceptions about what these effects might be, and whether they will be beneficial, or a menace. This members meeting will provide a forum for European cognitive systems researchers to discuss the potential social implications of their work. But more than that, it will engage the wider community in a dialogue about cognitive systems research. How do different sectors of society hope to benefit from cognitive systems? What are their concerns about cognitive system technology? How might those hopes and concerns be used to inform cognitive systems research and the way it presents itself to society at large?

So that we might include different voices in the discussion, we have included two features into the meeting structure:

1) the devotion of most of the second day to a panel of "outside" experts representing various aspects of society that might shape or be impacted by impending developments in cognitive systems: the media, the military, industry, the economy, law and healthcare.

2) an online component, #robotsandyou (http://robotsandyou.eucognition.org/), where people can, in advance of the meeting, post questions and comments on the social and ethical aspects of cognitive systems (people can also participate through Twitter using the hashtag #robotsandyou). Selected comments and questions will be the basis of discussion at the meeting, culminating in a panel discussion that will involve experts from outside the cognitive systems community. Video of the panel's discussion and responses to the selected #robotsandyou contributions will be uploaded to the website after the meeting.

In these ways, the public will help drive the discussion of the Brighton conference.

On the left: Brighton / On the right: University of Sussex