Implementing Machine Ethics

The Second Workshop on Implementing Machine Ethics @ UCD (30th June 2020)

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Registration (now closed)

Following on from the first workshop organized last year, the Machine Ethics Research Group at UCD would like to invite registrations for the Second Workshop on Implementing Machine Ethics. The workshop is free to attend. Please fill out this form to register.

The contemplation of intelligence and/or agency among machines, in popular discourse, seems to settle on a future technological dystopia or conversely, a machine-led utopia. While the media creates these dichotomous futures, there needs to be deeper discussion on how intelligence, agency, and ethics in machines will affect society. Is the expectation of ethical behaviour an all-or-nothing proposition? What are the legal consequences of unethical behaviour by a machine-augmented human being? Does it make sense to talk about ethically-limited machines? Do a machine’s ethical duties towards humanity supersede individual human rights?

The School of Computer Science, UCD would like to invite registrations, for the second Workshop on Implementing Machine Ethics. Participation is welcome from practitioners, professionals, junior researchers, and senior academics, who have an interest in the technological, political, social, legal and philosophical implications of concrete implementations of ethics in machines. The Workshop deliberately avoids discipline-specific tracks to allow participants from multiple disciplines to interact and exchange views. Presentations will be on the following themes / questions:

  • Are ethics expressible in algorithmic form?

  • Who is responsible for ethical violations by a machine?

  • Can ethical behaviour be guaranteed or verified in computational media?

  • Relationships between humans and machines in the presence of hybrid actions

  • Social implications of trust, and dependence on cognitive assemblages

  • Can ethical responsibility be assigned when decision-making is distributed?

  • Do ethically-capable machines have rights? Where do these stand in relation to human-rights?

The main thrust of the workshop will be on bringing multiple perspectives to bear on an acceptable description of ethical machines. The talks and discussion will be devoted to synthesising a joint multi-faceted notion of ethical machines around the themes and questions listed above.


keynote speaker


call for abstracts pdf version

PDF-Call For Abstracts

Important dates for the event

Important Dates

last year's talks

Last Year's Talks

schedule of events




Confirmed Keynotes

  Prof. Virginia Dignum, Umeå University.
Prof. Dignum heads the research group on Social and Ethical Artificial Intelligence, in the Department of Computer Science. Her research interests span analysis and formalization of social interaction, to design of human-agent frameworks, and responsible AI.


Due to travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus lockdown, the workshop will take place in virtual space. Registered participants will be sent a Zoom link prior to the beginning of the workshop.

The workshop is free to attend, however in the interests of participant-management, we would request you to please register here, before the event.


(all times Irish Summer Time)
Timeslot Talk
09:25 - 09:30 Welcome
Vivek Nallur, UCD, Ireland
09:30 - 09:45 Agency, Ethics and AI
Ken Archer, Survata Inc., USA
09:50 - 10:05 Is Trust Between AI Institutions and the Public "Morally Rotten"?
Sarah Carter, NUI Galway, Ireland
10:10 - 10:25 Authoritarian or Democratic AI?
Sergio Grancagnolo, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
10:30 - 10:50 Discussion
10:50 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 11:15 Computer Ethics - A Lemian Approach
Satwant Kaur, University of Wolverhampton, UK
11:20 - 11:35 Respectfulness By Design
Dina Babushkina, University of Helsinki, Finland
11:40 - 11:55 The Limits of Moral Turing Tests
Christoph Merdes, Friedrich-Alexander Universität, Germany
12:00 - 12:20 Discussion
12:20 - 13:00 Lunch
13:05 - 13:20 Could Regulating the Creators Deliver Trustworthy AI
Labhaoise Ní Fháolain, University College Dublin, Ireland
13:25 - 13:40 Machine Ethics Through Machine Coaching
Loizos Michael, Open University of Cyprus, Cyprus
13:45 - 14:00 Ethical Governor Systems Viewed as a Multi-Agent Problem
Louise Dennis, University of Liverpool, UK
14:05 - 14:25 Discussion
14:25 - 14:35 Break
14:35 - 14:50 Theologies of Technology
Anthony Behan, IBM Data and AI, Ireland
14:55 - 15:10 First steps towards an Ethical Agent for checking decision and behaviour of an Autonomous Vehicle on Rules of the Road
Gleifer Vaz Alves, Universidade Tecnologica Federal do Parana, Brazil
15:15 - 15:30 Designing Ethics Automation Projects to Increase the Odds of Research Success
Steven Greidinger
15:35 - 15:55 Discussion
16:00 - 17:00 Keynote - Responsible AI: how to develop and use AI in a responsible way
Prof. Virginia Dignum,Umeå University
17:00 - 17:05 Closing Remarks
Vivek Nallur, UCD, Ireland

Important Dates

Deadline for submission of abstract: 17-May-2020
Notification of acceptance: 1-June-2020
Workshop Date: 30-June-2020

Last Year's Schedule of Talks

2nd July 3rd July
1300 - 1350 Registration (+ Tea/Coffee) 1000 - 1100 Keynote by Joanna Goodey (Moore Auditorium)
AI and fundamental rights: Not only a question of ethics
1350 - 1400 Welcome
Vivek Nallur, UCD
1100 - 1115 Tea/Coffee
1400 - 1430 The Metaethics of Training Data
Christoph Merde, Friedrich Alexander Universitat
1115 - 1145 Could Legal Agency Apply to Chatbots
Labhaoise Ní Fhaoláin, DAC Beachcroft Dublin
1430 - 1500 Humane Algorithms
Nick Gray, University of Liverpool
1145 - 1215 Bias in Artificial Intelligence
Susan Leavy, University College Dublin
1500 - 1530 Ethics and Labour in Machine Learning
Eoin Hurrell, Swrve Inc.
1215 - 1245 Emergent Ethics in Multi-Agent Systems
Vivek Nallur, University College Dublin
1530 - 1550 Tea/Coffee 1245 - 1345 Lunch
1550 - 1620 AI and Epistemic Injustice
Joel Walmsley, University College Cork
1345 - 1415 Raising Ethical Machines
Marten Kaas, University College Cork
1620 - 1650 Interpretability and Accountability as Necessary Pieces for Machine Ethics
Taghi Aliyev, CERN
1415 - 1445 Epistemic and Moral Justification in Machine Learning
Andrew Smart, Google Inc.
1650 - 1700 Move to Moore Auditorium 1445 - 1500 Tea/Coffee
1700 - 1800 Keynote by Alan Winfield
On the Engineering and Ethics of Ethical Machines
1500 - 1630 Workshop
1630 - 1725 Sustaining the Machine Ethicists' Network
1725 - 1730 Closing Remarks
Gerd Leonhard [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Machine Ethics Research Group is an inter-disciplinary group that investigates technology and its impact on society, law, ethics, philosophy and fiction.

Two of its members, Dr. Vivek Nallur and Dr. Graham Finlay were funded by a UCD internal grant to create and grow a network of researchers that are interested in the above themes. This workshop is partly funded by this grant.

  Apart from Machine Ethics, Vivek is interested in Emergence, Complex Sytems, Agent-based Social Simulation, and Multi-Agent Systems. He freely utilizes ideas from economics, biology, etc. to drive his agents (and research). He is particularly interested in the macro-effects that feedback loops generate, how they can be guided, and used as building blocks for higher-order structures.

  Graham's research interests include the history of political thought, especially John Stuart Mill, consequentialist thought, citizenship and development education, the theory and politics of human rights (especially migrants' rights) and various topics in international justice, including migration and development.

Organizing Committee

  • Vivek Nallur, UCD
  • Graham Finlay, UCD

Contact Us


Twitter: MachinEthicsUCD