CS 4002
Robots and Society

Some readings are not firm as of now, and many will be added the week before the class. Remember: there is no excuse for ignorance of the assigned reading material. Visit this page frequently. Bring a friend.



Reading for
Class Discussion (Read PRIOR to Class)


Jan 10

Introduction I (slides)

Robot Ethics – The Economist

Ethics and Autonomous Systems

AI Industry Group


Jan 12

Introduction II/Ethical Foundations I

Smart People

Why the future doesn't need us (Bill Joy)


(Stephen Hawking et al)

A Robot in Every Home (Bill Gates)


,Jan 17

Mobile Robot Lab Tour 

Meet at TSRB LOBBY 9:30AM

Roboethics (RE), Chap. 1,2

Jan 19

Guest Lecture – Jason Borenstein

Robotic Nudges


Jan 24

Ethical Foundations II

Introduction to Ethics Article (Class Handout)

RE Chap. 5

In class exercise 1

Jan 26

Ethical Foundations III (slides)


A survey of Roboethics

Moral Machines (MM) Chapter 1




HWK #1: Introduction to Ethics DUE 2/14

 Jan 31

 Argumentation (slides)

Using the Toulmin Model

Term paper assignment #1 outDue 2/14

Feb 2

Asimov's Laws (slides)


MM, pp. 91-99

Three laws and Metaethics

Beyond Asimov

Uncanny Valley



 In class exercise 2

Feb 7

Medical and Assistive Robotics (slides)

Robots and Autism


Therapy Robots and Blame

RE Chapter 6

Feb 9


Brains and Robots

Implant tumors

Mind reading

In class exercise 3

Feb 14

Defense: Killer Applications

RE, Ch. 9

Ban or no ban


HW #1 DUE!

HWK# 2 OUT: DUE  2//23


Feb 16

 Guest Lecture: Dr. Tobias Wilson-Bates

Rossum, Frankenstein, and our troubling stories about artificial life


Frank and RUR

Feb 21

Defense II (slides)

Military Robots and Ethics


Review of Code with explanation of the 4 regulatory forces (Focus on section titled 'What Regulates and How’)

RE Chapter 7,11.3


 Feb 23

Robots and Privacy (slides)

Drones and Privacy

Drones and Privacy 2

Security and Privacy

RE Chapter 11.4

In class exercise 4HW #2 DUE!

Term paper Outline and

Debate Topics(BOTH DUE 3/7)

Feb 28

Midterm Exam

Mar 2

Entertainment/Companion Robots


If you kick a robotic dog, is it wrong?

The March of the Robot Dogs

Robot Abuse

Good companions?

Bad Companions?

RE Chapter 8


March 7

Robots and Jobs (slides)

World Robotics Summary



Robots and the Workforce


 Term Paper (DUE 4/25)

March 9

Religion and Robots (slides)

Robot: Child of God


Robot Monk

Homework #3

DUE 11:59 PM Monday 4/4 (4/3)

March 14

Sexual Activity and Robots I

Legal Implications of Intimacy with Machines

Robot Flirting

Robot Sex Tourism

 Debate Assignments

(Due 4/13)




March 16

Kelsey Hawkins:

Autonomous Vehicles, Safety, and Blame

Tesla Crash

Marchant Paper

March 21
March 23

Spring Break

March 28

Sexual Activity and Robots II (slides)

Robot Sex and Ethics

Robot Prostitutes



March 30

Social and Cultural Distinctions

RE Chapter 10

Who is afraid?

Cultural Acceptance: West versus Japan

Japanese Perspective

April 4

Intelligent Beings I (aka The Singularity)


Homework 3 due Monday 4/3 11:59PM

Student presentations

April 6

Intelligent Beings II

RE Chapter 12

I… am a robot

Student presentations

April 11

Intelligent Beings III

MM, Chapter 4

MM, Chapter 12

Ethical Treatment of Robots

Student presentations

April 13

Debates I Robotic Remuneration

Student debates

All debate documents for all debates are due at the beginning of class 4/13.

April 18

Debates II Robot Deception


April 20

Kelsey Hawkins:

Professional Ethics

 ACM Code

Using the ACM Code


IEEE Plagiarism

AUVSI Code of Conduct

April 25

Debates III Robotic War Crimes



April 27

No Class (Reading Period)


Out 4/27: Take-Home Exam

Due 5/2

May 2


Final Exam