John Sullins - Rethinking Robots

sullins-1.jpgThe World Technology Network has named Philosophy Professor John P. Sullins a finalist for an award for his visionary research in the ethical use of robotics.

He is among individuals in 30 categories who are - in the opinion of the WTN Fellows and Founding Members - doing the innovative work of "the greatest likely long-term significance" in their fields, those creating the 21st century."

The winners will be announced from the stage at the UNITED NATIONS* at the World Technology Awards gala/ceremony on the evening of October 26, at the conclusion of the World Technology Summit conference held at the Time & Life Building.

Sullins is one of five nominees in the ethics category. He will also be panelist in a discussion on the impact of robotics in the medical field.

The WTN is a curated membership community comprised of the world's most innovative individuals and organizations in science, technology, and related fields. The WTN and its members are focused on exploring what is imminent, possible, and important in and around emerging technologies.

Sullins has taught at SSU since 2004 and is an associate professor at of philosophy. He teaches CyberEthics, Logic, Critical Thinking, Philosophy of Science and Technology and Philosophy and Robotics.

He is the 2011 recipient of the Herbert Simon Excellence in Research award from the International Association of Computers and Philosophy. In addition, he is a Military Master at Arms and directs the Sonoma State University Fencing Master's Certificate Program.

His current research and publications involve the study of computer ethics, malware ethics, and the analysis of the ethical impacts personal robotics technology is having on individual lives.

He has also studied the ethical design of successful autonomous information technologies.

He has given numerous public and academic lectures on these topics and has published numerous papers.

For a recent interview on his thoughts about the ethics of military robots, visit,

Sullins lives in Sonoma County with his wife and two children.

The World Technology Awards have been presented by the WTN since 2000, as a way to honor those in 20 different categories of science and technology and related fields doing "the innovative work of the greatest likely long-term significance."

Nominees for the 2011 World Technology Awards were selected through an intense process by the WTN Fellows (winners and finalists from previous annual Award cycles in the individual Award categories) through an intensive, global process lasting many months.

The advisors for 2011 are:
Ray Kurzweil, inventor/futurist/author
Albert Teich, Director, Science and Policy Programs, American Association for the Advancement of Science/AAAS (retired, 2011)
Jason Pontin, Editor/Publisher, Technology Review
Lev Grossman, Senior Writer and book critic, TIME; co-author blog "Techland"
Oliver Morton (pending), Energy & Environment Editor, The Economist; former Chief News and Features Editor, Nature; Former editor, WIRED (UK edition).

For further information about the nominees, visit,

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