Wanted: Thought Leaders on Applying Ethics to Robotic, Intelligent, and Autonomous Systems that Influence Human Choice

The IEEE P7008 Standards Working Group, sponsored by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, is seeking volunteers to bring additional perspectives and expertise into the creation of the IEEE P7008TM Standard for Ethically Driven Nudging for Robotic, Intelligent and Autonomous Systems. This standard will provide guidance for developers and ethicists involved in the design of autonomous, intelligent systems that seek to “nudge” humans; that is, influence choices made by humans through subtle means.

These systems may adaptively select the individuals they nudge, customize the means they use to influence behavior, and/or learn from the effectiveness of the nudges they implement. IEEE P7008TM will provide designers of nudging systems with methods, tools and guidelines for aligning their systems with ethical design principles, and embody an ethical framework grounded in respecting human autonomy, in particular, the human dignity of informed, non-coerced choice. The completed standard will establish a delineation of current and potential nudging techniques and technologies, and frame a design methodology to ensure transparent, ethical decision-making, the assessment of ethical risks and harms due to nudging, and evaluation of nudging effects after deployment.

Working group members have professional experience and personal interests across a broad spectrum of disciplines relevant to this topic, including development/deployment of autonomous and intelligent systems, ethics, cognitive science, psychology, empathic technologies, regulations related to technology, and standards development. We seek additional wide-minded talents to foster this practice of developing systems that incorporate ethics into their design.

If you have any questions about IEEE P7008TM (https://standards.ieee.org/project/7008.html) or would like to become a working group member, please send email to the chair, Sean Dougherty (seand@ieee.org). If you have questions about the IEEE Standards Association or the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (https://ethicsinaction.ieee.org/), please send email to Christy Bahn (c.bahn@ieee.org).

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