Talk: Ethics and Trustworthy Autonomy

Mar 29, 2021 | Events

“Ethical aspects and recommendations for trustworthy highly automated/autonomous systems”

Erwin Schoitsch, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology

Time: April 23, 2021  9 am (CET)
Location: The talk will be held remotely (will be updated accordingly when invitation is available)

The FOCETA project (Foundations for Continuous Engineering Trustworthy Autonomy) was requested to appoint an Ethical Advisor. This activity should particularly address not only the involvement of human subjects in the research activities, but also how to avoid negative social, cognitive and ethical bias throughout the project phases, from design, development, verification and validation, maintenance and dismissal of developed technologies and products. This includes

  • Use of AI-based components and systems safety critical systems.
  • How the used methods, algorithms, Machine Learning and training materials, data handling and management, and the resulting (mass) deployed products fulfill ethical requirements for autonomous (highly automated) systems.

Many guidelines, recommendations of EC and national authorities, even certificates, are around. Standardization groups on topics concerning systems (machines, vehicles etc.) with (semi-) autonomous, decision making abilities and Artificial Intelligence systems in general and in different application areas are following an ISO/IEC recommendation to consider ethical and societal impact of such systems in the standards. Many standardization committees have therefore started task groups etc. to provide guidelines and reports on how their systems should behave with respect to their social and operational environment, vulnerable users, human rights and freedom of human decision.

The talk will provide an overview on recommendations, guidelines, ideas for certification/ qualification, and standards on international and selected national basis and direct awareness towards fulfillment of the major ethical requirements.

Erwin Schoitsch, Ethics Advisor of FOCETA


Erwin Schoitsch

Senior Research Fellow

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH.
Giefinggasse 4
1210 Vienna,
Tel: +43 664 620 7700

Erwin Schoitsch works for AIT Austrian Institute of Technology for more than 50 years, focusing on software process improvement and on development and validation of safety-related software-intensive systems with high dependability and trustworthiness requirements. He is/was involved in many industrial projects and European research projects since the Framework Programmes FP6 and FP7, in the ARTEMIS JU Programme and now in the follow-up ECSEL Programme projects. Major issues of these projects are validation & verification, certification, standardization, reference technology platforms, trustworthiness properties co-engineering and interoperability specifications for complex safety critical cyber-physical (embedded) systems, with focus on cross-domain applicability and multi-concern assurance, including ethical aspects too. His main contribution to these projects covering all domains of highly automated systems (particularly Industry4.0 (Smart manufacturing), Automotive, IoT and AI) is today in context of international standardization (ISO, IEC, ISO/IEC/JTC1, ETSI-AIOTI, and the respective national mirror groups), including machine ethics and societal impact. He is, for example, Ethics Advisor of the FOCETA project (EC-funded RIA in Horizon 2020).