Ian Kerr and Jason Millar on “Delegation, Relinquishment and Responsibility: The Prospect of Expert Robots”

Ian Kerr

The success of IBM’s Watson (the “deep question answering” robot who defeated the two all-time Jeopardy champions) demonstrates our future temptation to rely on robotic predictions and expert systems instead of humans.  Watson-like medical diagnosticians and Google-like driverless vehicles are only the beginning.  If these robots perform well, they may become the preferred experts, forcing us to question whether humans should delegate tasks such as medical diagnosis and driving to expert robots.  Ian Kerr and Jason Millar’s paper explores important issues raised by the implementation of Watson-like robots, such as whether we can justify relinquishing control of highly specialized tasks to expert robots.  By exploring notions of

Jason Millar

expertise and evidence-based decision-making, which believes that an action that produces the most favorable outcome is the most justifiable, the authors canvas various legal and ethical approaches to determining responsibility when these advanced systems make mistakes.

Ian Kerr and Jason Millar will present Delegation, Relinquishment and Responsibility: The Prospect of Expert Robots on Sunday, April 22nd at 11:30am at We Robot 2012 at the University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables, Florida.  Ian Kerr is a Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa, Canada, where he holds cross-appointments to the Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Philosophy.  He has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and a JD from Western University.  Jason Millar is a Philosophy Ph.D. candidate at Queen’s University in Canada.  He has a B.Sc. in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University, and teaches courses in Roboethics and Science Ethics.

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