Dr. Peter Asaro is a philosopher of science, technology and media. His work examines artificial intelligence and robotics as a form of digital media, and the ways in which technology mediates social relations and shapes our experience of the world.
His current research focuses on the social, cultural, political, legal and ethical dimensions of military robotics and UAV drones, from a perspective that combines media theory with science and technology studies. He has written widely-cited papers on lethal robotics from the perspective of just war theory and human rights. Dr. Asaro’s research also examines agency and autonomy, liability and punishment, and privacy and surveillance as it applies to consumer robots, industrial automation, smart buildings, and autonomous vehicles. His research has been published in international peer reviewed journals and edited volumes, and he is currently writing a book that interrogates the intersections between advanced robotics, and social and ethical issues.
Dr. Asaro has held research positions at the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University, the HUMlab of Umeå University in Sweden, and the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. He has also developed technologies in the areas of virtual reality, data visualization and sonification, human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robot vision, and neuromorphic robotics at theNational Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA), the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and Iguana Robotics, Inc., and was involved in the design of the natural language interface for theWolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine for Wolfram Research–this interface is also used by Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Bing to answer math queries, and won two 2010 SXSW Web Interactive Awards for Technical Achievement and Best of Show.
He is currently working on an Oral History of Robotics project that is funded by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities.
Dr. Asaro received his PhD in the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also earned a Master of Arts from the Department of Philosophy, and a Master of Computer Science from the Department of Computer Science.