Our research aims to bridge many seemingly conflicting qualities and domains, which makes it challenging to pin down stylistically. Ethics can be associated with the social, subjective, organic and emotional. Yet we are uniting it with engineering, logic, technology and reason. We are serious in our aim and rigorous methods but cutting edge and agile rather than stodgy. I think all these differing aspects need to be reflected, juxtaposed and integrated into a successful logo.
To see a little more about who we are and a web design we were happy enough with for a simple landing page, you can see our coming soon page at http://www.metaethical.ai. You may want to browse it while contemplating possible designs before being influenced by my idea below.
Overall, I'd like the logo to be as simple as possible while achieving the above but no simpler. If recognizability or expressiveness is being sacrificed, it's better to err on the side of being more intricate.
The attached image with the large orange circle in the back is pretty close to what I had in mind except that one of the hands forming the heart would be a robot's. I like the expressiveness of the modern hand gesture as well as the just the right level of detail with the knuckles. I also like how the purple and green image is not as simple of a symmetry and one comes from below and the other above. The gray image demonstrates one more possible gesture / position.
My main inclination is to take a hand from the orange circle image and pair it with one from the gray, something vaguely like the attached combined image. Having them asymmetric like this makes the robot hand less like blindly copying and more socially intelligent and creatively adaptive. I also feel that the orange circle hand position is more expressive and impressive and so, should be the robot's. Furthermore, since our research aims to make superintelligent AI ethical, I think the robot's hand should come from the upper right.
But I think the orange hand position fits better with the arm coming from below and the gray one from above, which probably causes a conflict or makes the hand/wrist positions very awkward. I don't know how to solve this. Maybe making the arms closer to level could help? Or we give up one of the constraints and compensate symbolically in some other way? Or there's an alternative angle, position or gesture I hadn't considered?
I look forward to seeing creative solutions, variations or completely novel takes that express a similar message! Keep in mind that we do not own the attached images so don't make it look so similar that we need to worry about infringement.
Update: After seeing a design close to what I thought I wanted, I'm now thinking that having the human and robot hands together looks too intimate or romantic. Unless there's a solution to that, I'll probably be looking more for original ideas. One possibility is that since the AI learns ethics by modelling human minds/brains, there might be a visual metaphor for that relationship.
Update: I added three more reference images for inspiration. The world-heart, dove and hands holding world. The hand or right hand could be robot's. And maybe the dove/world is being digitized but it would need to look like it's being optimized into a utopian future and not just dissolved, maybe with light.
Update: I received another design based off my original idea and I think it successfully overcame the perception that it would be too intimate, so it looks like I doubted it too soon. But it is still nice to see a range of designs submitted and there are a couple different approaches that are decent contenders.