(Talk) Surprising Judgments about Robot Drivers: Experiments on Rising Expectations and Blaming Humans

Artificial Software Agents – like driverless cars – promise great benefits but also present some new risks. This talk focuses on the unexpected judgments people make about interactions with a software agent. Deploying a new research instrument – the N- Reasons experimental survey platform – we encourage participants to generate reasons to support their judgments, and groups to converge on a common set of reasons pro and con various issues. In the Robot Ethics Survey, some of the reasons contributed reveal surprising judgments about autonomous machines. Presented with a version of the trolley problem with an autonomous train as the agent, participants gave unexpected answers, revealing high expectations for the autonomous machine and shifting blame from the automated device to the humans in the scenario. Further experiments with a standard pair of human-only trolley problems refine these results. While showing the high expectations even when no autonomous machine is involved, human bystanders are only blamed in the machine case. A third experiment explicitly aimed at responsibility for driverless cars confirm our findings about shifting blame in the case of autonomous machine agents. We conclude methodologically that both results point to the power of an experimental survey based approach to public participation to explore surprising assumptions and judgments in applied ethics. However, both results also support caution interpreting survey results in ethics, demonstrating the importance of qualitative data to provide further context for evaluating judgments revealed by surveys. The result about shifting blame to humans interacting with autonomous machines suggests ethical caution about the unintended consequences of intuitive principles requiring human responsibility.

Speaker: Peter Danielson
Mary & Maurice Young Professor of Applied Ethics
Centre for Applied Ethics
School of Population & Public Health
University of British Columbia
Date & Time: September 22, 2014 – Monday. Talk at 4:00 p.m. Refreshments available from 3:30 p.m.
Location: Kaiser 2020/2030, 2332 Main Mall, UBC
ECE Hosts: Philippe Kruchten and Sathish Gopalakrishnan

Speaker Biography

Having taught Philosophy and Computer Science at York Univ, Danielson came to UBC in 1990 as one of two founding faculty of the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics. Danielson’s research program of Artificial Morality combines computational (agent-based, evolutionary) modelling of more or less ethical agents with constructing computational spaces to support democratic decision making in ethics. He leads the NReasons research group, which is conducting experimental public participation evaluations of technologies ranging from biobanks to elder care robots as well as life extension and animal welfare.

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(Workshop) WiE: Facebook Tech Talk on Mobile Apps, Cashing, and Ads

Are you interested to know about how tech giants attack some of the most exciting problems in software industry, or to network with other local professionals? Then, don’t miss this opportunity!

You are invited to a tech talk given by Facebook Vancouver office and hosted by IEEE Vancouver Women In Engineering Group & Joint Computing Chapter. Female engineers from Facebook will talk about their solutions for some of the large scale problems that they are currently working on. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions to speakers. There will also be half an hour of networking and socializing prior to and after the talks.

For more details on the talks, and registration: https://meetings.vtools.ieee.org/m/28405

Location: SFU Harbour Centre Room 1600, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6B 5K3
Date: 24-September-2014
Time: 06: ​15​ PM to 08:30PM

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(Talk) Making Threat Modelling Fun and Easy

Getting developers to think more defensively about their code is sometimes difficult. And with impending deadlines, its almost impossible to get them to do any sort of threat modelling. In this session, Dana will walk attendees through exploring how to use basic data flow diagrams (DFD) and the Elevation of Privilege (EoP) card game to collect the basic information needed and then show how to transpose that into Microsoft’s next generation SDL Threat Modelling tool. Attendees should come prepared to play a few hands of EoP and learn how to have fun when threat modelling.

Speaker: Dana Epp
Date & Time: Wednesday, 2014/09/17, 6:30 PM [Welcome time 6:15 PM]
Location: Building SW1, Room 1021, BCIT Burnaby Campus, 3700 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby, BC, V5G 3H2
Registration: http://threatmodelling.eventbrite.ca
Sponsor: Pizza & pop is sponsored by TEKsystems

Speaker Biography
Dana Epp is the “Principal Architect – Identity & Access Management” at Kaseya, where he focuses on the architecture and security of the next generation identity and access management platform for cloud-based IT management. He has spent the last 25 years focusing on software security and has been awarded the recognition and designation by Microsoft as an Enterprise Security MVP for the past nine years.

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(Talk) The Victorian “Moon Program” and the Troubled Birth of Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineers are the children of a failure so profoundly embarrassing that we don’t even talk about it. Certainly, most engineering curricula don’t. But history is important. In an act of boldness that could only result from foolish arrogance, the first transatlantic telegraph cable was laid in the late 1850s. Mainly designed by a medical doctor, the cable perhaps predictably failed almost immediately. A British Committee of Inquiry convened to assess the disaster noted that the electrical arts lacked even a vocabulary to describe the failures quantitatively. William Thomson was subsequently named the new head of the project, and final success followed in 1866. The volt, ohm and ampere were defined shortly thereafter and electrical engineering finally became a true profession. Thomson, of course, became Lord Kelvin, and was arguably the first professional electrical engineer. This talk describes the mistakes, Thomson’s technical brilliance and the heroics involved in spanning 3,000km of ocean without amplifiers of any kind, and how our profession evolved from that troubled birth to transform human existence in ways that we probably don’t fully comprehend.

Speaker: Thomas H. Lee, Electrical Engineering, Stanford University
Date & Time: September 10, 2014 – Wednesday. Talk at 4:00 p.m. Refreshments available from 3:30 p.m.
Location: Kaiser 2020/2030, 2332 Main Mall, UBC
ECE Hosts: Shahriar Mirabbasi and Sudip Shekhar

Speaker Biography
Thomas H. Lee is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University where his research focus has been on gigahertz-speed wireline and wireless integrated circuits built in conventional silicon technologies, particularly CMOS. He holds 57 U.S. patents and has authored The Design of CMOS Radio-Frequency Integrated Circuits (now in its second edition), and Planar Microwave Engineering. He is a co-author of four additional books on RF circuit design, and also cofounded Matrix Semiconductor (acquired by Sandisk in 2006). He is the founder of ZeroG Wireless. He served as MTO Director at DARPA for two years from 2011. He has been associated with Analog Devices and Rambus in the early 1990s where he developed high-speed analog circuitry. He has also contributed to the development of PLLs in the StrongARM, Alpha and AMD K6/K7/K8 microprocessors. He has twice received the “Best Paper” award at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, co-authored a “Best Student Paper” at ISSCC, was awarded the Best Paper prize at CICC, and is a Packard Foundation Fellowship recipient. In early April of 2011 he was awarded the Ho-Am Prize in Engineering (colloquially known as the “Korean Nobel”).

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(Workshop) SFU Optimization Networking Event

The Joint Computing Chapter is please to be a Technical Co-Sponsor of the SFU Optimization Networking Event. This event is also sponsored by NSERC, SFU Faculty of Applied Science, and MITACS. If you are in the field of optimization and/or operations research, this is a great way to network with academia and industry in your field. Here is more information about this event:
Where: SFU Burnaby Mountain Campus, IRMACS Centre, ASB 10900
When: May 7, 10:30am — 4:30pm
Program Highlights:
  • Presentations by academia on operations research: real-world applications, decision making, and management.
  • Presentations by industry about decision making approaches, their future challenges/needs, at both the management and planning level.
  • A presentation by NSERC about collaboration between academia and industry.
  • Networking sections during two coffee breaks and over lunch.
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