This paper presents a case of severe uncertainty in the development of autonomous and intelligent systems in Artificial Intelligence and autonomous robotics. After discussing how uncertainty emerges from the complexity of the systems and their interaction with unknown environments, the paper describes the novel framework of explorative experiments. This framework presents a suitable context in which many of the issues relative to uncertainty, both at the epistemological level and at the ethical one, in this field should be reframed. The case of autonomous robot systems for search and rescue is used to make the discussion more concrete.

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