Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Ethics

Robert Trappl
Arts and Society, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies
2021S, scientific seminar (SEW), 2.0 ECTS, 1.0 semester hours, course number S03711


AI systems for calculating the „Social Credit Score“, Autonomous Robot Soldiers, Robot-Conversational-„Butlers“ for elder persons, decision programs based on non-transparent procedures, etc., not to mention the very improbable decision problems in autonomous vehicles, a multitude of AI systems and robots exists that raise ethical questions. Many papers and books are published about them. And many organisations, regional or international like „AI for Good“––not to confound with „AI for God“––exist that intend to provide solutions. Among them prominent the European Union with its plan to become the world’s leader in ethics for AI and robotics: some malvolent people assume because it sees difficulties to make Europe become the technological leader. Anyway, it’s a good intention because these problems are really important.

The Seminar consists of 4 Blocks: In Block 1 I will attempt to give an overview of the field and I will be happy to get  interruptions by students. Each student is invited to select or invent one or more topics and s/he tries to get a first overview before Block 2 where these first results will be discussed. Till Block 3 or Block 4 the student will improve her/his overview and s/he will let us know about her/his results in a short presentation (about 20min), followed by a discussion. Each student will finally prepare a written report (3 pages, or more ;)) encompassing her/his results and send it before or on 31st July 2021 to my email-address

Examination Modalities

The grade will be based on cooperation, presentation, and report.


Students from other faculties or universities will be given a place on the course subject to zoom capacities.


23 March 2021, 14:30–16:15 Distance Learning (details as described)
23 April 2021, 13:45–16:15 Distance Learning (details as described)
14 May 2021, 13:45–17:00 Distance Learning (details as described)
11 June 2021, 13:45–17:00 Distance Learning (details as described)

Course Enrolment

From 01 February 2021, 19:10 to 31 March 2021, 19:10
Via online registration

co-registration: possible

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Bachelor): Science and Technology: Deepening / Application

Individual courses: possible