«Robot Ethics and other philosophical challenges of Artificial Intelligence in education»




Antonio Seoane


Training citizens for the XXI century implies facing the most relevant concerns of our time, no matter if they are in the curriculum or not. To be honest, we can be absolutely certain that, if they are really challenging, they will not be present in the academic curriculum.

Computational thinking (or better “logical thinking”) is applicable not only to STEM subjects but to any other field in education, and it is particularly suited to decision making in moral dilemmas. And, as strange as it may seem, many of the most difficult issues to be solved related to the development of algorithms for AI are deeply related to philosophical (moral) debates. This is why it seems to me so interesting to approach the study of so called “moral machines”, using a game-based learning learning unit on self-driving vehicles. The main goal is to program such cars to perform certain behaviours under extreme situations. Students will be asked to logically base their reasoning on different ethical approaches and try to develop a schema of decision making that could serve to program a machine to respond to those situations. Students will also have to deal with the uncertainty of reaching solutions that will be debatable and not universally accepted as part of the difficulty, more ethical than technical, to provide machines with the ability to take decisions where there is no such thing as a “right” versus “wrong” answer, and potentially both (or more) of the possible actions will bring unwanted consequences.

Besides, some other philosophical issues related to AI and rhoboethics, or even Ethics in Computer Sciences, will be briefly introduced for further discussion



Author's Biography

Antonio Seoane

Antonio Miguel Seoane Pardo (A Coruña, 1971) holds a PhD fromthe University of Salamanca, teacher of Philosophy at IES Venancio Blanco (Salamanca), of which he is currently principal, and Assistant Professor of the Area of Research Methods and Diagnosis in Education of the University of Salamanca. His areas of interest and research cover from Rhetoric and Communication Theory to ICT applied to education, educational guidance and tutoring, etc. He belongs to the Research Group on Interaction and eLearning (GRIAL), of the University of Salamanca. In 2009 he was the first director of the Virtual University of this university, responsible for the strategy of implementation of the eLearning methodology of the institution. He has a long history of training trainers, has taught more than a hundred courses on issues related to educational innovation, and is the author of almost a hundred publications including books, chapters and articles in high-impact journals. He has participated in more than 30 research projects, both national and international.

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