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UNSW presents RoboCup 2019 Talks

RoboCup 2019: Talks

From forced labour to friends, foes and fighting machines, how will the rise of robots impact our everyday lives?

July 4 & 6, 2019

Was Stephen Hawking right that artificial intelligence is possibly the greatest threat to humanity?

Presented as part of RoboCup 2019, UNSW Centre for Ideas brings a series of talks to explore the

exciting, daunting and rapid rise of robot technology. From RoboEthics to RoboWarfare and

RoboReveal, our panels of experts consider the big questions and examine how robotics and AI

will impact our everyday lives.

RoboCup is an international robotics competition, showcasing the latest state of the art

developments in robotics and AI research. You’ll be able to see new developments in robotics at

home, at work, in disaster recovery and on the soccer field. Now in its 23rd year, RoboCup comes to

Sydney for the first time from July 2 to 8, 2019 at ICC Sydney.

In the 1920s when the word ‘robot’ was coined, the notion of machines living alongside humans

was entirely science fiction. But anyone with a smart watch, a phone that talks back, or a fridge that

can buy its own milk knows that times have changed.

UNSW Professor and RoboWarfare panellist Lyria Bennett Moses says, “Developments in

robotics raise important questions about how humans will live among designed entities that

compete for work and impact our lives as consumers, as people in need of care, as pedestrians and

passengers, and as potential targets in war. The RoboCup Talks will delve deeper into these

issues, asking how we can design robots in ways that reflect our ethical commitments and

enhance human flourishing. This is an important part of a broader conversation, and we are

looking forward to hearing what expert panellists and RoboCup participants have to say.”



6pm, Thursday 4 July

Lower Town Hall

When we build robots and artificial intelligence, is there anywhere we shouldn’t go?

Stephen Hawking once claimed that AI could be the greatest threat to humanity. The tech world’s

most prominent visionaries have voiced concerns around the proliferation of robots in all areas of

our lives, yet we continue to hurtle towards a brave new mechanical world. Should there be a set of

immutable ethical laws around robots and AI before it’s too late? Join UNSW Professor Toby

Walsh, researcher Kate Devlin, philosopher Matthew Beard and ethicist Justine Rogers to tackle

these moral dilemmas and determine how these rapidly emerging technologies will impact our


Tickets $10 + booking fees

RoboEthics & RoboWarfare combo tickets $15 + booking fees




7.30pm, Thursday 4 July

Lower Town Hall

Should robots have the right to kill?

We owe so much of our technological innovation to the relationship between the tech industry and

the military, without it we wouldn’t have satellite navigation or the internet. So what happens when

military engineers start building lethal autonomous weapons who can make their own decisions on

the frontline? A future where robots march alongside human soldiers into battle is no longer just a

science fiction fantasy. The rise of robots could make warfare safer for civilians and reduce the

lethality of war, but should robots ever have the right to kill? Join law professor Lyria Bennett

Moses, professor of AI Toby Walsh and autonomous weapons systems researcher Jai Galliott, to

explore the quandaries and benefits of robots and AI on the frontline.

Tickets $10 + booking fees

RoboEthics & RoboWarfare combo tickets $15 + booking fees




Saturday 6 July, 2pm

ICC Sydney, Exhibition Centre Lvl 3, Room E3.2

When are the robots moving in?

Self-driving cars, surgery bots, Siri. We have already welcomed robots into our homes, cars and

pockets, so what’s next? Will they be joining soldiers on the battlefield, sitting next to us in the

office or replacing our human friends? Join Marita Cheng, Toby Walsh and more for a discussion

on the exciting (and sometimes daunting) developments in robotic technology. RoboReveal is

suitable for families and will include a Q&A with the audience.

Free event


RoboCup 2019: Talks are presented as part the UNSW Grand Challenge on Living with 21st Century






Julie Clark | Humankind Public Relations | | +61 409 517 738

High-resolution images are available to download from:



UNSW Centre for Ideas

The UNSW Centre for Ideas is an exciting new initiative from UNSW Sydney, presenting an

accessible year-round public program of talks and conversations with big thinkers and thought

leaders from around the globe. Live talks offer knowledge and insight that you can’t find in the

pages of a book or hear over the din of the 24-hour news media. You don’t have to go to the

farthest reaches of the internet or sort the fact from the fake in your social feeds. For the latest

event announcements, sign up at

More information and a range of podcasts and videos from past events, including the Festival of

Dangerous Ideas 2018, can be found at

Follow UNSW Centre for Ideas:


RoboCup 2019

Robo Cup is an international robotics competition, showcasing the latest state of the art

developments in robotics and AI research, played out on the soccer field. Now in its 23rd year,

RoboCup comes to Sydney for the first time from July 2 to 8, 2019.

RoboCup Talks Panellists:


Toby Walsh

Toby Walsh is a leading researcher in artificial intelligence. He was named by The Australian

newspaper as a "rock star" of Australia's digital revolution. Walsh is Scientia Professor of

Artificial Intelligence at UNSW, leads the Algorithmic Decision Theory group at Data61,

Australia's Centre of Excellence for ICT Research, and is Guest Professor at TU Berlin. He has

been elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and has won the prestigious

Humboldt research award, as well as the NSW Premier's Prize for Excellence in Engineering and

ICT. Walsh regularly appears in the media talking about the impact of AI and robotics and his

twitter account has been voted one of the top ten to follow to keep abreast of developments in AI.

He has played a leading role at the UN and elsewhere on the campaign to ban lethal autonomous

weapons (aka "killer robots”).


Matthew Beard

Matthew Beard is an Australian philosopher and ethicist, based in Sydney. He has a PhD in

philosophy, with a thesis focussed on military ethics, the post-war experience of veterans and the

relevance of concepts virtue and character in talking about the morality of war today.

He writes regular columns for New Philosopher – one on ethical dilemmas and one answering

philosophical questions from children. Beard is also the resident ethicist on Short & Curly, an

award-winning podcast discussing ethics for kids, produced by the ABC. His work discusses

subjects including military ethics, moral injury and PTSD, cyberwar, torture, and medical ethics in

book chapters, scholarly articles, radio interviews, public opinion pieces, and at academic

conferences both domestically and internationally. He’s passionate about public philosophy and

communication and discussing ethical questions in popular media outlets.


Lyria Bennett Moses

Lyria Bennett Moses is Director of the Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation and a

Professor in the Faculty of Law at UNSW Sydney. Her research explores issues around the

relationship between technology and law, including the types of legal issues that arise as

technology changes, how these issues are addressed in Australia. Bennett Moses work also

includes research on the application of standard legal categories such as property in new sociotechnical contexts, the use of technologically specific and sui generis legal rules, and the

problems of treating “technology” as an object of regulation. She has been a Key Researcher and

Project Leader on the Data to Decisions CRC, exploring legal and policy issues surrounding the

use of data and data analytics for law enforcement and national security. Bennett Moses is also

Lead of the UNSW Grand Challenge on Living with 21st Century Technology.


Marita Cheng

Marita Cheng is a technology entrepreneur and women in technology advocate. She’s been named

Forbes World's Top 50 Women in Tech 2018 and was the 2012 Young Australian of the Year.

Cheng is the founder and CEO of Aubot (formerly called 2Mar Robotics), which makes a

telepresence robot, Teleport, for kids with cancer in hospital to attend school, people with a

disability to attend work and to monitor and socialise with elderly people. She is also the founder

of Robogals, an international student-run organisation that inspires, engages and empowers

young women to study engineering. Robogals has now taught 70,000 girls from 11 countries.

Cheng travels regularly, presenting her work both in Australia and overseas.


Kate Devlin

Kate Devlin is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London.

Having begun her career as an archaeologist before moving into computer science, Devlin’s

research is in the fields of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). She

investigates how people interact with and react to technology in order to understand how

emerging and future technologies will affect us and the society in which we live. Devlin has

become a driving force in the field of intimacy and technology, running the UK's first sex tech

hackathon in 2016. In short, she has become the face of sex robots – quite literally in the case of

one miscaptioned tabloid photograph. She was probably the first person to say 'sex robots' in the

House of Lords – in an official capacity, at least. Her book on the subject, Turned On, was

published in 2018.


Jai Galliott

Dr Jai Galliott is leader of the Values in Defence & Security Technology Group at UNSW at the

Australian Defence Force Academy. He initially trained as a Principal Warfare Officer in the

Australian Navy but resigned his commission in 2007 to pursue an academic career. He has since

received numerous degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and sociology from Macquarie

University in Sydney, a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a PhD on the ethical and social

implication of autonomous systems from Macquarie University.


Justine Rogers

Dr Justine Rogers is Deputy Director of the Law Society of NSW Future of Law and Innovation in

the Profession (FLIP) research stream as part of the Allens Hub for Technology, Law and

Innovation at UNSW Law. She is also a chief investigator in an Australian Research Council

Linkage grant with the Professional Standards Councils on professionalism and professional

regulation in the 21st Century. Rogers is a Senior Lecturer in Lawyers, Ethics & Justice, the core

legal ethics course at UNSW Law. She completed her Doctor of Philosophy at the Centre for

Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford, which was an ethnographic study of London

barristers and pupillage. Rogers also holds a Masters in Educational Research Methodology from

the University of Oxford.