Simon Fraser University
Assault and Batteries: On the utility of robot aggression, competition and violence

Prof. Richard Vaughan
Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 12:30PM-1:30PM
Graduate Student Lounge (MBC2212)

For robots, as for animals, aggression, competition and violence can be useful. In the context of robots, “useful” means increasing the value of the robots to their owners. In the first part of this talk I will describe my laboratory’s work in using aggressive behaviour to improve the overall efficiency and utility of groups of robots. Second, I survey some examples of robots with competitive or aggressive behaviour, and consider their impact on the field and on wider society. Finally, I consider the current and future value of robots designed to perform physical violence, and the peculiar ethics thereof.

Richard Vaughan joined the School of Computing Science of Simon Fraser University as an Assistant Professor in 2003. His research goal is to build better robots, and his main approach is to apply models of animal behavior. He enables research in the community by creating tools and techniques for programming, simulating and evaluating populations of robots. Previously he was Member of Research Staff at HRL Laboratories in Malibu, Calfornia, and a post-doc at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He received a DPhil from Oxford University in 1998, and a BA (Hons) in Computing with Artificial Intelligence from Sussex University in 1993.