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Task Force on Ethical and Social Implications of Computational Intelligence

The objective of this task force is to create a vibrant environment within the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (CIS) to discuss the ethical and social implications of Computational Intelligence (CI) technologies. Today, CI techniques are embodied within many technologies. For example, Fuzzy Control is a central piece within most control systems for technologies such as washing machines. Deep Neural Networks are sitting today on most smart phones offering search-by-image capabilities. Evolutionary Computation is creating a leap forward in industry and robotics when coupled with 3D printing that allows evolved robots to come to life quickly and with low cost. CI researchers excel in designing these technologies and bringing them into life to create significant positive impact on the economy and the society as a whole. As a socially-responsible society, these success stories come with responsibilities on us as CI researchers and as the leading Society on CI to understand the ethical and social Implications of these technologies.

Ethics cover the moral principles that govern the behaviour of the technology, as well as the designer. Social responsibility is the duty of each individual – in this particular context CI researchers – to minimize the ecological footprint of these technologies and balance the size of this footprint with economic benefits. Social justice raises important questions on the impact of automation on the workforce and the possible implications of that on distribution of wealth within societies. Privacy affords individuals with the freedom to choose which self-traits to share. The legal implications of embodying CI technologies to achieve autonomy in autonomous systems is a complex yet-to-be-solved problem. These are just examples of the issues that this task force will be looking at.

This task force is tasked with three main goals:

  1. To create a vibrant environment within IEEE CIS to discuss the ethical and social implications of CI technologies
  2. To organise discussion papers on the ethical and social implications of CI technologies
  3. To promote and organise technical activities (special sessions, panel discussions, special issues, workshops, etc) on the ethical and social implications of CI technologies