Peter Asaro

Position:  Associate Professor at The New School, School of Media Studies – ICRAC Vice-Chair

Links: Website

Expertise Areas: Autonomous Weapons, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robot Ethics, Media Technology, Philosophy of Technology



Dr. Peter Asaro is a philosopher of science, technology and media. His work examines the interfaces between social relations, human minds and bodies, artificial intelligence and robotics, and digital media.

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 military robotics, interface design practices, 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 the National 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 the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine (winner of the 2010 SXSW Web Interactive Award for Technical Achievement), for Wolfram Research.

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.


Asaro, P. and Wendell Wallach (eds.) (Forthcoming). Machine Ethics and Robot Ethics, Ethics of Emerging Technologies Book Series, Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

Altmann, Juergen, Peter Asaro, Noel Sharkey, and Robert Sparrow (eds.) (2013). “Special Issue on Armed Military Robots,” Ethics and Information Technology,15 (2), June 2013.

Asaro, P., and George J. Klir (eds.) (2009). “Introduction: Special Issue on the Intellectual Legacy of W. Ross Ashby,” International Journal of General Systems, 38 (2), 93-95.

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