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Seminar on Software Engineering, AI and Ethics

Babak Farshchian
Seminar: Software Engineering, AI, Ethics
Date: 15. March 2019 NTNU, IDI Gløshaugen, Room 454 Trondheim, Norway.
Contact person: Letizia Jaccheri.

You are hereby invited to a full day seminar at IDI about the topic of Software engineering, AI and ethics. The seminar program includes several inspiring lectures from guests and employees at IDI. Our hope is to create fruitful discussions among the participants about these important topics, and how they influence each other and our society.


Time Presenter Title Chair
09:00-09:15 Letizia Jaccheri, ISSE Coffee and welcome!  
Session 1     Babak A. Farshchian ISSE
09:15-09:30 Jingyue Li, ISSE How AI interacts with Safety, Security, and Privacy?  
09:30-09:45 Kerstin Bach, DART Building AI applications to personalize healthcare  
09:45-10:00 TBA    
10:00-10:30 Coffee break    
10:30-10:45 Rudolf Mester, DART Ethics and Responsible Engineering in the Context of Autonomous Driving  
10:45-11:00 Pinar Øzturk, DART Artificial Ethics , Do we have a  Method to Handle it?  
11:00-12:00 Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic, Chalmers University of Technology Avoiding the Intrinsic Unfairness of the Trolley Problem. Towards Technically and Socially Informed Ethical Guidelines for Designing of Self-driving Cars  
12:00-13:00 Lunch    
Session 2   The next lecture will be part of the AI series and it may be moved to another room if necessary Ole Jakob Mengshoel
13:00-14:00 Ivica Crnkovic, Chalmers University of Technology Developing AI – New challenges for Software Engineering  
14:00-14:15 Odd Erik Gundersen If the results of our AI experiments are not reproducible, are we doing science?  
14:15-15:00 Panel Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic, Pinar Øzturk, Kerstin Bach The future: AI for Software Engineering or Software Engineering for AI? Letizia Jaccheri


  • Lunch på Terra Elektro til kl. 12.00.
  • Dinner  Sabrura Bakklandet, fredag 15. mars kl. 18-20.00.

For the people who have already registered. Registration is closed. Registration for the lecture at 13 still open.

Speaker Biographies and Abstracts of the Talks

Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic

Chalmers University of Technology | University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Title of the talk:  Avoiding the Intrinsic Unfairness of the Trolley Problem. Towards Technically and Socially Informed Ethical Guidelines for Designing of Self-driving Cars

 Abstract: As an envisaged future of transportation, self-driving cars are being discussed from various perspectives, including social, economic, engineering, computer science, design, and ethical approaches. On the one hand, self-driving cars present new engineering problems that are being gradually successfully solved. On the other hand, social and ethical problems are typically being presented in the form of an idealized unsolvable decision-making problem, the so-called “Trolley problem”, which is grossly misleading. Such ethical dilemmas obfuscate currently much bigger ethical challenges in the development and operation of self-driving cars. We must move in the research on autonomous vehicles ethics beyond the trolley problem.

 A systematic approach to ethical challenges taking into consideration components, systems and stakeholders in the process of development and deployment of autonomous cars helps to address and solve actual real-life ethical challenges and to move away from dead ends of hypothetical Trolley-problem thought experiments. Since self-driving cars are an inter-disciplinary topic, the perspective of user experience/interaction design, i.e. disciplines that follow user-centred design processes, can contribute to a fruitful discussion about ethical guidelines.

Bio: Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic is Professor of Interaction design at Chalmers University and Professor in Computer Science at Mälardalen University of Technology. She holds PhD degrees in Physics and Computer Science. Her research is in Morphological Computation, and the Study of Information as well as Information Ethics and Ethics of Technology. She teaches on graduate and undergraduate level. She published a book Information and Computation Nets in 2009 and four edited volumes: Information, Computation, Cognition with Susan Stuart in 2007, Information and Computation with Mark Burgin in 2011, Computing Nature in 2013 and Representation and Reality in 2017 with Raffaela Giovagnoli. She is past President of the Society for the Study of Information, member of the editorial board of the World Scientific Series in Information Studies and Springer SAPERE series, and member of the editorial board of several journals. She is an external member of The Karel Capek Center for Values in Science and Technology,, a research multidisciplinary center established by the Czech Academy of Science, Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Charles University, Prague.

Ivica Crnkovic

Chalmers University of Technology | University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Title of the talk: Developing AI – New challenges for Software Engineering

Abstract: Artificial Intelligence based on Machine Learning, and in particular Deep Learning, is today the fastest growing trend in software development, and literally in all areas on the modern society. However, a wide use of AI in many systems, in particular dependable systems, is still far away of being widely used. On the one hand there is a shortage of expertise, on the other hand the challenges for managing AI-based complex and dependable systems are enormous, though less known, and in general underestimated. This talk discusses some of these challenges and identifies new challenge for software engineering – software engineering for AI.

Bio: Ivica Crnkovic is a professor of software engineering at Chalmers University, Gothenburg, and Mälardalen University, Västerås. He is the director of ICT Area of Advance at Chalmers University, and director of Chalmers AI Research Centre (CHAIR). His research interests include component-based software engineering, software architecture, software development processes, software engineering for large complex systems, and recently Software engineering for AI. Professor Crnkovic is the author of more than 200 refereed publications on software engineering topics, and guest editor of a number of special issues in different journals and magazines, such as IEEE Software, and Elsevier JSS . Professor Crnkovic was the general chair of 40th International Conference on Sofwtare Engineering (ICSE) 2018, held in Gothenburg, 2018. He was also general chair of several top-level software engineering conferences (such as ICSA 2017, ECSA 2015, ASE 2014, Comparch, WICSA 2011, ESEC/FSE 2007,) and PC Chair (COMPSAC 2015, ECSA 2012, Euromicro SEAA 2006, etc.). His teaching activities cover several courses in the area of Software Engineering undergraduate and graduate courses. From 1985 to 1998, Ivica Crnkovic worked at ABB, Sweden, where he was responsible for software development environments and tools. More information is available on

Jingyue Li


Title of the talk: How AI interacts with Safety, Security, and Privacy?

Abstract: This talk will present our on-going studies targeting at investing challenges AI brings to safety, security, and privacy of IT systems and cyber-physical systems. We will also present how AI can possibly help improve safety, security, and privacy. In short, we will talk about Engineering AI and AI for Engineering.

Bio: Jingyue Li is associate Professor at Computer Science Department of Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Jingyue Li got his PhD on software engineering from the Computer Science department of NTNU in 2006. After that, he continued as Post Doc at the same department. He has been working as visiting researcher at University College London and University of Washington. He has published more than 50 scientific publications in software engineering journals and conferences, including the most prestigious ones, such as IEEE Transaction on Software Engineering, International Conference on Software Engineering, Empirical Software Engineering Journal, and IEEE Software. Jingyue Li received the best paper award from the 4th ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement. From 2010, he had been working as principle researcher at DNV GL Research and Innovation. His research focuses at DNV GL were safety and security of software dependent critical systems. From 2016, he started working as associate Professor at NTNU.  His main research focuses at NTNU include empirical software engineering, software safety, security, and reliability. He is the proceeding chair of EASE 2019 and is PC member of several software engineering conferences, including APSEC, PROFES, and AWSEC.

Kerstin Bach


Title of the talk: Building AI applications to personalize healthcare

Abstract: This talk will cover the development of the selfBACK system in an international and interdisciplinary team. selfBACK is an EU project coordinated at NTNU focusing on the self-management of low back pain through a digital intervention. A recent study showed that low back pain (LBP) is the most significant contributor to disability in Europe. Self-management in the form of physical activity and exercise is crucial; however, adherence to a self-management plan is challenging due to a lack of feedback and reinforcement.
The selfBACK consortium has therefore developed a decision support system that can be used by the patient him/herself to facilitate, improve and reinforce self-management of their LBP. A mobile app gives advice tailored to each patient based on the symptom progression, the patient’s goal-setting, and other characteristics including information from a physical activity-detecting wristband.

Bio: Kerstin Bach is Associate Professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Department of Computer Science, located in Trondheim Norway. She is deputy group leader of the Data and Artificial Intelligence (DART) group as well as core-team member of the Norwegian Open AI Lab. She is the Project Manager in the H2020 selfBACK project (2016-2020) and is leading the AI and Machine Learning development for the H2020 Back-Up project (2018-2020). Since 2019, she represents NTNU in the AI4EU H2020 project (2019-2021) that aims to create a joint European AI platform.

Rudolf Mester


Title of the talk: Ethics and Responsible Engineering in the Context of Autonomous Driving.


Bio: Rudolf Mester has been head of the Visual Sensorics and Information Processing Lab at Goethe University, Frankfurt, since 2004. Since October 2018, he is with the Computer Science Dept. (IDI) at NTNU Trondheim, and member of the Norwegian Open AI Lab. In the recent decade, he lead research initiatives and projects for intelligent visual vehicle sensorics, for applications of AI in mobile systems, visual surround sensing for autonomous driving, and machine learning for ‘trainable vehicles’ and vehicle control. Besides these application-oriented topics, he performs fundamental research in the performance analysis of AI methods, assurance of machine learning algorithms, and in the foundations of robust and reliable perception and planning algorithms building on estimation theory, control theory, and machine learning.

Odd Erik Gundersen


Title of the talk: If the results of our AI experiments are not reproducible, are we doing science?

Abstract: This talk is about scientific method applied to AI and computer science, and the role of software engineering in it.

Bio: Odd Erik Gundersen is the Chief AI Officer at TrønderEnergi and responsible for developing AI solutions for the renewable energy sector. He is also an adjunct associate professor in the Data and Artificial Intelligence group at the Computer Science Department at NTNU.

Pinar Øzturk


Title of the talk: Artificial Ethics , Do we have a  Method to Handle it?

Abstract: AI systems are becoming ubiquitous with rocket speed. However, AI research and development is not prepared to handle the consequences of using AI systems in so diverse contexts and by people with rather different profiles. This talk will briefly introduce the state of the art in Ethical AI, highlight the multidisciplinary character of the topic, and discuss how we may investigate some ethical aspects of AI systems such as fairness and transparency.

Bio: Assoc. Prof. Pinar Øzturk has earned her PhD degree from NTNU in 2000. After working some years at SINTEF, she started to work at the Computer Science Department, NTNU. She has also an affiliation with University of Agder, the CARE Artificial Intelligence center. Her research area is within decision support systems, knowledge representation, and multi-agent systems. Her most recent research focus is multi-agent interaction protocols for privacy negotiation, and ethical aspects of Artificial Intelligence. She has been on the editorial board of Applied AI journal, and served as reviewer in several journals and conferences. She has been project manager and WP/Task manager in various projects funded by EU and Norwegian research council. She has published over 60 papers in journals and conference proceedings.

On March 15 we will be organizing a full day seminar on software engineering, artificial intelligence and ethics. Our guests are Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic and Ivica Crnkovic, both from Chalmers University of Technology. In addition, we will have several presentations from our colleagues at IDI. Stay tuned for the program!