The Debate

A sound public and private policy can be built only upon a solid foundation of knowledge and tested ideas. The world needs better methods to exchange knowledge, and to subject new ideas to effective intellectual scrutiny. We thus supports the development of new technologies and methods that will lead to better dissemination of information and analysis of proposed emerging technologies. When Robotics is applied to society in numbers and volumes bigger than today, it will trigger widespread social and economic change, for which public and private policy must now prepared.

The theme of the relationship between humankind and "autonomous" machines appeared early in world literature, developed firstly through legends and myths, more recently by scientific and moral essays. In our time, facing the development of ever more powerful computers and the variety of humanoid robots, many people have expressed their concern over the necessity to introduce ethical rules in technological applications, especially regarding the behaviour of intelligent machines.

In this section, after a short résumé of the main works of literature dealing with this issue, you find a survey of the recent contributions by scientists and concerned people.

You find then a chronological list of the main events about this topic (conferences, seminars, workshops) in the last three years, and a suggestion about the main institutions whose mission is also technoethics. At the end, a Selected Bibliography.

This sections is intended to be a Work-in-Progress. We apologize for unwitting omission and slips.
We thanks for sending us comments, rectifications and revisions.

Edited by Fiorella Operto

Draft 5th Jan '04