The future of robotics, brains and ICT

September 21, 2015

Please find the recordings and video of the online debate below.

What can we actually expect from possible intelligent machines, and what should we anticipate? Can we agree on basic rules for designing robots, and could they become smart enough to override them? How would desirable robots and robotics look like? What is strong AI and panpsychism, and what does it have to do with each other? What are the challenges and possibilities of brain-computer interfaces?

The Human Brain Project (HBP) has steadily moved forward over the past few years.The HBP has:

  • Launched the high-performance computing platform that allows easy access to high performance computing for the scientific community;
  • Made neuromorphic computing experiments available without complex hardware experience;
  • Enabled researchers to use models of the brain in virtual robotics experiments.


All are technological advances with great promises for the future.On the 9th of October 2015, The HBP had invited prominent external experts to explore ethical, social and technical issues related to these recent technological and scientific advances. We invite you to explore the conversations that ensued below:

The online debate was organised by the Danish Board of Technology Foundation in collaboration with the HBP Foresight Lab at King’s College, London. Both partners of the HBP in the “Ethics and Society” subproject of the Human Brain Project (HBP).

Are the robots coming for our brain?” by Dr. Peter Asaro,The New School.
Commentary by Anna LührsForschungszentrum Juelich GmbH.

Robot ethics, societal and ethical challenges by Prof. Alan WinfieldUniversity of the West of England, Bristol.
Commentary by Prof. Marc-Oliver Gewaltig, École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (EPFL).

Dancing with pixies by Prof. J. Mark Bishop, Goldsmiths, University of London.
Commentary by Prof. Steve Furber, University of Manchester.

Sensorimotor modulation for communication and control with Brain-Computer Interfaces: Prospects, Problems and Ethical Issues by Dr. Damien Coyle, University of Ulster.
Commentary by Prof. David LesterUniversity of Manchester



Intelligent Machines Presentation Peter Asaro

Commentary Anna Lührs

Human–Robot interaction: psychological and ethical issues Presentation Alan Winfield

Comm. Marc Oliver Gewaltig

Cognitive computing and machine learning  Presentation Mark Bishop

Commentary Steve Furber

Brain Computer interfaces and neuroprosthetics  Presentation Damien Coyle

Commentary David Lester