Cyber-Ethics: Robot/ロボト, AI/愛, Human/人間

Paul Dunscomb's picture
Call for Papers
February 26, 2016 to February 27, 2016
Alaska, United States
Subject Fields: 
East Asian History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Japanese History / Studies, Philosophy, Social Sciences

Cyber-Ethics: Robot/ロボト, AI/愛, Human/人間 is an interdisciplinary conference for faculty, students, and the Anchorage community on the ethical and cultural aspects of artificial intelligence and robotics focusing on Japan. Conference featured speakers will be Takanori Shibata and Jennifer Robertson. Prof. Shibata is Chief Senior Research Scientist at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tokyo, Japan, and creator of a therapy robot, Paro. Prof. Robertson is Professor of Anthropology and History of Art at the University of Michigan and author of the forthcoming book Robo Sapiens Japanicus: robotics, eugenics, and posthuman aesthetics. The event is hosted by various organizations at the University of Alaska Anchorage: the Montgomery Dickson Center for Japanese Language and Culture, the Ethics Center, The Department of History, Department of Philosophy, and the Japanese Language Program. The Conference will be held in conjunction with the Department of Philosophy’s 11th annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference.

Japan has long been on the cutting edge of developments in robotics and artificial intelligence. The widespread adoption of robotics in Japanese society has reignited questions about the cultural and moral position of robots in families and communities, the nature of robot selfhood and its relationship to human identity. The conference will examine why Japan represents the crest of the wave in robotics, including what is the current state of technological development and adoption, what does the future hold, and what are its practical, ethical, moral, legal, cultural, and social implications. History indicates that adoption of new technologies considerably outpaces informed public discussion about, government regulation of, or realization of the moral and ethical consequences of its use. Japan is a bellwether for a technology that is likely to be truly transformative of, if not threatening to, the human condition.

Proposals for individual papers and panels on this theme are welcomed. Particular emphasis will be given to projects which focus on furthering public discussion of these issues, the creation of humanities curriculum to teach about them, and the advancement of research regarding them. Considerable time will be devoted to opportunities for broad discussion of these themes apart from the panels examining specific aspects of it. Our hope is to create an ongoing dialogue and process for examination of and education about these issues.

Submission Requirements:

Abstracts should be about 250 words in Microsoft Word, RTF or PDF formats and should be sent as an e-mail attachment to the conference contact Prof. Raymond Anthony ( by December 16, 2015. If your project is accepted, a full paper of no more than 4,000 words should be submitted in order to be included in the conference proceedings. Abstracts as well as anticipated twenty minute conference presentations should be prepared in English (full papers for the conference proceedings may be submitted in other languages including Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French or German).

Contact Info: 

Professor Hiroko Harada: 907.351-3748 (tel. and text).

Professor Paul Dunscomb: 907.786.1728.

Professor Raymond Anthony: 907.786.4459.

Contact Email: