Prof Alan Winfield

Bristol Robotics Lab

Prof Winfield is a roboticist with the Bristol Robotics Lab and visiting professor at the Department of Electronics at the University of York. His research interests include robot ethics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence and open science. Prof Winfield is “committed to the widest possible dissemination of research and ideas in science, engineering and technology” and believes “that robots provide us with a wonderful vehicle for public engagement. Actually I would go a stage further and argue that intelligent robots will become ubiquitous in the near future and we therefore need to start a dialogue now about the ethical and moral questions that will arise.”

He gives two reasons for his fascination with robots: 1) They are complex and potentially useful machines that embody just about every design challenge and discipline there is. 2) They allow us to address some deep questions about life, emergence, culture and intelligence in a radically new way, that is by building models. “Thus robotics is for me both engineering and experimental philosophy.” His keynote Discovery public lecture in July 2019 was on Engineering and Ethics of Ethical Machines.