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International Workshop on Law, Philosophy and Technology at Vienna University (Kyoto-Vienna Workshop Series)


How to cohabitate with intelligent robots: Legal, ethical and engineering issues in “multi-species” society


General Background

Under rapid development of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, a new style of society is gradually emerging. It is so called “multi-species” society, originally argued in ethnographic studies, where interdependence between human and non-human makes many intermediate or hybrid species, difficult to be classified as simply human or non-human. In this society, current ethical, legal or engineering presumptions are heavily trembled, because many of them are consciously or unconsciously based on the modern philosophical division between subject and object. For example, legal theories relied on this division should find a new path to treat emerging legal liability problems regarding to “autonomous object,” and engineers who mainly have focused on object now inevitably become involved with mode of human existence: a vexing ethical problem. Since these complicated problems are transdisciplinary in nature, we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to tackle them at this conference.


Opening remarks (10:00 - 10:30)

Nikolaus Forgó (Vienna University)

1st Session (10:30 - 12:00): Autonomous robots and their subjectivity


Thanks to development of AI, robots become more and more autonomous and recent neuroscience even come to mention about the possibility of artificial “consciousness”. Does this circumstance allow or require us to think them as “subject” in our society? What is their social or legal status in the nearest future? Do we need their ethical/legal personhood?

  • Prof. Markus Vincze (Vienna University)
  • Dr. Yuji Kawai (Osaka University)
  • Prof. Christiane Wendehorst (Vienna University)

Prof. Tetsuya Yamashita (Kyoto University)

Lunch Break (12:00 - 13:30)

2nd Session (13:30 - 15:00): Legal and ethical issues regarding to collaboration between human and intelligent robot


In the nearest future, it is assumed that the interaction between human and non-human proliferates in our society. Autonomous driving system, intelligent surgery robots, and power assist suits may all require smooth and appropriate collaboration between human and non-human. But if something happens who should take its responsibility? What are the distributive principles of ethical/legal liability in this setting? What is the ethical or legal duties for engineers or designers to be more accountable in the emerging society?

  • Prof. Raja Chatila (Pierre and Marie Curie University)
  • Dr. Giulio Mecacci (Delft University of Technology)
  • Prof. Tatsuhiko Inatani (Kyoto University)

Prof. Daisuke Fukamizu (Shinshu University/Nagashima Ohno Tsunematsu)

Coffee Break (15:00 - 15:30)

3rd Session (15:30 - 17:00): Future robotics for Najimi society


The Japanese concept “Najimi,” which means interpenetrate relationship between human and non-human, might be a key to realize symbiotic society that consists of human and intelligent robotics. But in addition to technical challenges, there should be philosophical and legal challenges in such society. How can we define the concept of “symbiotic” in this context? What does legal structure become? Or is it even appropriate to realize such society from the outset?

  • Prof. Minoru Asada (Osaka University)
  • Prof. Mark Coeckelbergh (Vienna University)
  • Prof. Georg Borges (Saarland University)

Prof. Tatsuhiko Inatani (Kyoto University)

Ending Remarks (17:30)

Prof. Tatsuhiko Inatani (Kyoto University)