CSC News

August 06, 2020

Paper Wins Blue Sky Award at AAMAS 2020

A paper written by team of researchers from NC State and the Delft University of Technology has won the Blue Sky Award in the Blue Sky Track of the 19th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-AgentSystems (AAMAS 2020) held in Auckland, New Zealand in May, 2020.


Congratulations to the paper’s authors:  NC State Computer Science PhD graduate Pradeep Murukannaiah (currently an assistant professor at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands  pictured), Nirav Ajmeri, a postdoctoral research scholar in the NC State Computer Science Department, Catholijin Jonker, professor at Delft University of Technology, and Munindar Singh, Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor of Computer Science at NC State.

This award was sponsored by the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), a part of the Computing Research Association.  The CCC's mission ( is to catalyze the computing research community, enabling the pursuit of innovative, high-impact research.


The winning paper is “New Foundations of Ethical Multiagent Systems.”  The abstract follows:


Ethics is inherently a multiagent concern. However, research on AI ethics today is dominated by work on individual agents: (1) how an autonomous robot or car may harm or (differentially) benefit people in hypothetical situations (the so-called trolley problems) and (2) how a machine learning algorithm may produce biased decisions or recommendations. The societal framework is largely omitted. To develop new foundations for ethics in AI, we adopt a sociotechnical stance in which agents (as technical entities) help autonomous social entities or principals (people and organizations). This multiagent conception of a sociotechnical system (STS) captures how ethical concerns arise in the mutual interactions of multiple stakeholders. These foundations would enable us to realize ethical STSs that incorporate social and technical controls to respect stated ethical postures of the agents in the STSs. The envisioned foundations require new thinking, along two broad themes, on how to realize (1) an STS that reflects its stakeholders’ values and (2) individual agents that function effectively in such an STS.


To read the winning paper, click here.


AAMAS is the leading scientific conference for research in autonomous agents and multi-agent systems. The Blue Sky track emphasizes visionary ideas, long-term challenges, new research opportunities, and controversial debate. It serves as an incubator for innovative, risky, and provocative ideas.



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