Friday 26th November 2021  13.30-14.30 CET

Alan Winfield

Professor of Robot Ethics

Bristol Robotics Lab, UWE Bristol

On academic blogging and AI ethics


This talk will be in two parts. First, I will give a brief overview of my experience as an academic blogger. Then a longer outline of my work in robot and AI ethics. I will explain why we urgently need ethics in robotics and AI, and what that means in practice. I will touch upon ethical governance and introduce a new generation of emerging ethical standards, illustrated with standards on ethical risk assessment and transparency.

Key References

  2. Winfield AFT and Jirotka M (2018), Ethical Governance is essential to building Trust in Robotics and AI Systems, Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. A, 376: 20180085.
  3. Winfield, A. Ethical standards in robotics and AI. Nature Electronics 2, 46–48 (2019).
  4. Winfield AFT, Booth S, Dennis LA, Egawa T, Hastie H, Jacobs N, Muttram RI, Olszewska JI, Rajabiyazdi F, Theodorou A, Underwood MA, Wortham RH and Watson E (2021) IEEE P7001: A Proposed Standard on Transparency. Robot. AI 8:665729. doi: 10.3389/frobt.2021.665729


Alan Winfield is Professor of Robot Ethics at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK, Visiting Professor at the University of York, and Associate Fellow of the Cambridge Centre for the Future of Intelligence. He received his PhD in Digital Communications from the University of Hull in 1984, then co-founded and led APD Communications Ltd until taking-up appointment at UWE, Bristol in 1992. Winfield co-founded the Bristol Robotics Laboratory where his current research is focused on the science, engineering, and ethics of cognitive robotics.

Winfield is passionate about communicating research and ideas in science, engineering, and technology; he led UK-wide public engagement project Walking with Robots, awarded the 2010 Royal Academy of Engineering Rooke medal for public promotion of engineering. Until recently he was director of UWE’s Science Communication Unit. Winfield is frequently called upon by the press and media to comment on developments in AI and robotics; he was a guest on the BBC Radio 4 series The Life Scientific and interviewed for BBC News HARDtalk.

Winfield is an advocate for robot ethics; he is a member of the Bristol Standards Institute working group on robot ethics. He sits on the executive of the IEEE Standards Association Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, and chairs Working Group P7001, drafting a new IEEE standard on Transparency of Autonomous Systems. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global AI Council. Winfield has published over 270 works, including Robotics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2012).


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