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Ethische, rechtliche, philosophische und soziale Aspekte der Interaktion zwischen Menschen und autonomen intelligenten Systemen


  • Prof. Dr. Oliver Müller
    Department of Philosophy, University of Freiburg
    Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools
    Bernstein Center Freiburg
  • Prof. Dr. Silja Vöneky
    Institute of Public Law, Department 2 – Public International Law and Ethics of Law
    University of Freiburg



Intelligent systems capable of autonomous behavior and self-learning, whether in medical devices or self-driving vehicles, are the core technology behind the next wave of industrial innovation. In this research focus, we will jointly investigate ethical, legal, philosophical and social aspects, including benefits and risks in a broad sense, of this impending transformation from different perspectives. In the legal and governance domain, for example, we will examine national and international legislations, regulations, and treaties, as well as soft law norms and codes of conduct, on whether they are adequate for governing the interactions between humans and intelligent systems and for adjudicating liability. We will also study algorithmic and hardware mechanisms for safeguarding users of intelligent software and robots. With respect to philosophical questions, we will study the impact of these technologies on ethical theories and concepts of agency and action. The project provides a foundational nucleus for the interdisciplinary study of ethical, legal, social and other aspects of autonomous intelligent systems at the University of Freiburg.