International Conference: Investigating the Relationship between Future Technologies, Self and Society
The development of new technologies in medical, computer and military field, as well as their application to education and media always provides new opportunities and benefits to humans, improving the quality of their life. At the same time, it produces questions never taken in consideration in ethical and moral sphere. As a consequence, classic concepts like morality and ethics applied to human body and its functions, as well as themes like personal identity, autonomy, responsibility, and physical integrity require careful review. The goal of the International Conference: “Investigating the Relationship between Future and Technologies, Self and Society is to encourage a scientific dialogue among international experts in the fields of new technologies, medicine, neuroscience, engineering, philosophy, ethics and morality. The International Conference represents not only the opportunity of interdisciplinary reflection for those who work in the above mentioned scientific fields, but also the better context, within the European Project RoboLaw (www.robolaw.eu ), to realize a wide and clear scientific debate.
Download the conference leaflet and the programme here
Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
- Daniela Cerqui (Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
- Bert Gordijn (Institute of Ethics, Dublin City University, Ireland)
- Barbara Henry (Dirpolis Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy)
- Bert-Jaap Koops (Faculty of Law, Tilburg University, Netherlands)
- Pietro Pietrini (U.O. Department of Clinical Psychology, AOUP S. Chiara, Pisa, Italy)
- Julian Nida-Rümelin (Department of Philosophy, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany)
- Noel Sharkey (Faculty of Engineering, University of Sheffield, UK)
- Wendell Wallach (Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, USA)
- Kevin Warwick (School of System Engineering, University of Reading, UK)
For more information, registration and contact:
E-mail: info AT robolaw DOT eu Tel.: +39050 883324/3778
Symposium: Technical Options and Ethical-Legal Responsibility
Current and emerging technological applications create new options for human actions, but they also challenge the social, ethical and legal structure of the human lifeform. Several new ethical and legal questions arise. For instance, current available categories for liability do not seem to offer a proper basis for the regulation of new technologies. Therefore, the identification and the analysis of ethical and legal issues that arise from the use of technology are crucial tasks to deal with. Uncovering ethical values embedded into technologies is also a priority for the contemporary moral debate. The Symposium "Technical options and ethical-legal responsibility" will be held within the context of the EU-funded project RoboLaw. Drawing on the aims of RoboLaw, the interdisciplinary Symposium will discuss issues concerning technology, ethics and law. The main focus will be the topic of ethical and legal responsibility with regard to robotic applications but also to other sensitive technologies.The Symposium is organised by the Chair of Political Theory and Philosophy in collaboration with the Münchner Kompetenzzentrum Ethik (Funded by EU-Project RoboLaw - Regulating Emerging Robotic Technologies in Europe: Robotics facing Law and Ethics)
Venue: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Münchner Kompetenzzentrum Ethik, Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, Munich, Germany (Room M 210) Download the conference programme here
Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
- Georg Marckmann LMU, Munich (Germany)
- Michael Decker ITAS, Karlsruhe (Germany)
- Guglielmo Tamburrini Federico II, Naples (Italy)
- Ulrich Schrot LMU, Munich (Germany)
- Eric Hilgendorf Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg (Germany)
- Andrea Bertolini School of Advanced Studies-Sant'Anna, Pisa (Italy)
- Susanne Beck Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg (Germany)
- Klaus Mainzer TUM, Munich (Germany)
- Silja Vöneky ( Universität Freiburg (Germany)
For more information:
http://www.robolaw.philosophie.uni-muenchen.de/index.html E-mail: benedetta DOT bisol AT lrz DOT uni-muenchen Phone: +49 (0) 89 2180 2042
Vote the most relevant applications for robots!
The poll is aimed at identifying the most relevant applications for robots. We propose you to vote 10 applications: 5 of the most relevant will be selected and analysed by a group of experts in law and ethics, in order to provide the European Commission with guidelines for their regulation.
The poll is open to all: experts in robotics as well as laypeople.
It will be closed on 30th November 2013 and results will be made publicly available in the stakeholder section of the RoboLaw website.
We do hope that you will not lose the chance to give your contribution to the development of a European Regulatory Framework on Robotics! To take the poll click here
Please, distribute it among your acquaintances.
The second stakeholder meeting
The second RoboLaw Stakeholder Meeting was held in Munich (Germany) at Ludwig Maximilians University Munich on Tuesday 29th October, 2013. The goal of the meeting was to elicit and prioritize requirements from relevant stakeholders on how to regulate robotics technologies, both from the ethical and legal standpoints. Representatives from insurance and automotive companies, as well as cyborg associations, trade unions and practitioners in robotic surgeryparticipated in the meeting. Their inputs will be taken into account in the recommendations on regulating emerging robotics technologies that the RoboLaw partners will prepare for the European Commission (D6.1 Guidelines for Regulating Robotics Technologies)
The third stakeholder meeting is still to be confirmed and will be announced here. For more information, please visit the web-page dedicated to the Robolaw Stakeholders.
The Observertalks about the RoboLaw project
In the article, entitled 'Smart robots, driverless cars work - but they bring ethical issues too, Nicola Davis reports on the EuCog meeting and asked scientists and legal experts to comment on the main challenges that educational robots, intelligent implants, brain chips will soon bring about in society. The article contains also an interview to Dr. Andrea Bertolini, post-doctoral fellow in private law and member of the RoboLaw team of Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna.
RoboLaw @ EUCog Conference
Dr. Andrea Bertolini, a member of the RoboLaw project and Post-doc in Private Law at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy, was invited as a guest panellist at the 4th EUCogIII Members Conference on the "Social and Ethical Aspects of Cognitive Systems".
The meeting objective was to 'provide a forum for European cognitive systems researchers to discuss the potential social implications of their work. But more than that, it will engage the wider community in a dialogue about cognitive systems research. How do different sectors of society hope to benefit from cognitive systems? What are their concerns about cognitive system technology? How might those hopes and concerns be used to inform cognitive systems research and the way it presents itself to society at large?'.
Andrea's talk, entitled 'Robots
and Liability: Justifying a Change in Perspective' focused on the difference between liability rules for persons and for objects. Videos of the whole event are available at http://outreach.eucognition.org/.
RoboLaw @ Annual Conference of the International Bar Association
Ronald Leenes, Prof. of Law and Technology at Tilburg University (The Netherlands) and a member of the RoboLaw project (TILT), was invited as a guest speaker to present the RoboLaw project at the "I, robot: the interface between man and machines" Workshop held on October 8th in the framework of the Annual Conference of the International Bar Association.
In his talk, entitled 'EU Robolaw project - preserving European values in emerging technologies', Prof. Leenes's provided an overview of the main achievements of the RoboLaw project.
Call for Papers Humana.Mente
This special issue is organized in the framework of the RoboLaw project.
The title is:Reframing the Debate on Human Enhancement
and the aim of the special issue is to address two aspects of the debate on human enhancement that deserve particular attention and are currently little analyzed: firstly, the issue of normative requirements and the issue of the ethical and the social dimension of technological visions; and secondly, the widespread use of visions and metaphors in societal debate and academic literature. Human enhancement indeed promises to change dramatically the future of humanity, and society needs to have a grasp on how to decide its own best future.
Editors: Fiorella Battaglia (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich), Antonio Carnevale (Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa).
- Deadline for submissions: 31 October 2013
- Decision on manuscript: January 2014
Further information available here
Law and Technology. The Challenge of Regulating Technological Development
The collective volume, edited by E. Palmerini and E. Stradella, is the first book to appear in the new RoboLaw Series, published by Pisa University Press. The book contains an extensive analysis of the complex interchange between law and technology both from a theoretical and a case-scenario perspective. Available contents:
- Table of contents
- E.Palmerini The interplay between law and technology, or the RoboLaw project in context
RoboLaw International Conference Investigating the Relationship between Future Technologies, Self and Society
This two-days conference will investigate the interaction between humans and robotic technologies. The objective is to clarify the kind of relationship humans develop with new technologies applied in healthcare and the risks connected to the introduction of new technologies in everyday life.The programme will be available by the end of July. Attendance to the conference is free, but registration is needed (to register send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org: with the object "Conference Registration").Below a list of the invited speakers:
- Luciano Floridi, Department of Computer Science, Oxford University, UK
- Daniela Cerqui, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
- Wendel Wallach, Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, USA
- Bert Gordijn, Institute of Ethics at Dublin City University, Ireland
- Julian Nida-Rümelin, University of Munich, Germany
- Noel Sharkey, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sheffield, UK
- Michela Marzano, Département des Sciences Sociales, de l’Université Paris Descartes
- Barbara Henry, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy
- Pietro Pietrini, University of Pisa, Italy
The first RoboLaw Stakeholder Meeting
The first RoboLaw Stakeholder Meeting was held in Reading (U.K.) on Tuesday 25th June, 2013. The goal of the meeting was to elicit and prioritize requirements from relevant stakeholders on how to regulate robotics technologies, both from the ethical and legal standpoints. Representatives from robot companies, carers and disabled associations, as well as researchers in human enhancement, drone strategies, vehicular technologies and innovation and regulation, participated in the meeting. Their inputs will be taken into account in the recommendations on regulating emerging robotics technologies that the RoboLaw partners will prepare for the European Commission (D6.1 Guidelines for Regulating Robotics Technologies)
The second stakeholders meeting will be held in Munich (Germany) on October 29th, 2013. If you are a stakeholder and would like to participate please do contact us:email@example.com
The first issue of the RoboLaw Newsletter is now available
If you wish to be updated on the RoboLaw results and receive information on the project activities, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The RoboLaw project mentioned in the Russian Weekly Magazine "Ogoniok"
An article on creating a legal framework for robots appeared on Ogoniok, one of the oldest weekly illustrated Russian magazines. The article, written in Russian, mentions the DustBot and RoboLaw EU funded projects and the recent workshop held at ICRA2013 on 'Legal, Economic and Socio-Ethical Implications for the Next Generation of Robots'. The read the article click here.
ICRA13 Workshop on Legal, Economic and Socio-Ethical Implications for the Next Generation of Robots
The workshop is organised by Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa (Italy) in collaboration with the Research Centre Robot-Law, University of Wuerzburg (Germany), the European Centre for Law, Science and New Technologies of the University of Pavia (Italy), and the research group on Technology Assessment of Service Robotics of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany).
The workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary group of outstanding researchers and experts in law, ethics, safety standards, economics, politics, and, of course, robotics, with the aim of providing an updated overview on the major challenges facing next generations robots.
More information on the workshop objectives and schedule is available here.
RoboLaw will be present at the 2013 edition of the European Robotics Forum
The preliminary results of the RoboLaw project will be presented at the Workshop 'Ethical, Legal and Societal issues in Robotics as one of the PPP Robotics Topic groups' organised by Christophe Leroux, CEA LIST, which will be held on March 20th from 8.30AM to 11.00AM. More information on the workshop objectives and motivations are available here. The complete program of the European Robotics Forum 2013 can be found here. This year edition of ERF is held in conjunction with INNOROBO, "the robotic event you should not miss!" If you wish to attend ERF and vist INNOROBO you need to register here before.
The RoboLaw project is on WIRED.CO.UK
The article is entitled 'Beyond Asimov: the struggle to develop a legal framework for robots' and contains an interview to lawyer Andrea Bertolini and roboticist Pericle Salvini, both part of the RoboLaw team of Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna.
Click here to read the entire article.
RoboLaw Authors Workshop and Volume on 'Opportunities and risks of robotics in relation to human values'
Call for paper and participation. Robotic technologies, taken to encompass anything from 'traditional' robots to emerging technologies in the field of biomedical research, such as nanotechnologies, bionics, and neural interfaces, as well as innovative biomedical applications, such as bio-mechatronic prostheses, hybrid bionic systems and bio-mechatronic components for sensory and motor augmentation, will have a profound impact on our lives. They may also affect human values, such as privacy, autonomy, bodily integrity, health, etc. In this workshop, we will focus on the impact of new technologies, and particularly robotics, on fundamental rights and human values. Robotics may offer opportunities, for instance, they have the potential to promote human flourishing by creating the instruments to get over handicap and disabilities. But they may also present risks. Robots may cause (bodily) damages, undermine autonomy, etc.
We need to ask the right kinds of legal questions and think about their resolution now. Robots are entering our everyday lives sooner than many expect.
Although individual papers may take casuistry from the fields of robotics and neurotechnology as their starting point, the workshop and the volume-to-be-published, and, by the same token, the papers, will primarily focus on relevant legal questions and their potential resolution. Focus on particular jurisdictions, human values/fundamental rights, technologies, or rather on general issues, are both welcome.
I kindly invite you to submit abstracts (300 words max), briefly describing how the paper that you intend to submit, will shed new light on the risks and opportunities of robotics in relation to human values.
Contributions from law, and general regulation studies, ethics, philosophy of technology, science and technology studies are especially appreciated. By emailing me your abstract you commit yourself upon acceptance to send me a draft version of your full paper (max 8000 words) before 1 March 2013 in PDF format so that it can be easily circulated among the workshop participants. Whether a paper will be included in the volume to be published will be decided after receiving the very final version of the paper after the author's workshop.
Before 1 January 2013: Send an email to Ronald Leenes confirming your attendance, expressing your intention to either submit a paper or act as a commentator/reviewer.
Before 1 February: Send a 300 word abstract of the intended paper to Ronald Leenes
Before 8 February: Notification of acceptance.
Before 1 March: If your abstract has been accepted, send a draft of your full paper in PDF format to Ronald Leenes
Before 5 March: Circulation of papers
23-24 April 2013: Workshop
10 May: Selected final papers to be handed in.
The RoboLaw project on The Economist
The article is entitled 'You, robot? Technology and regulation: A research project considers how the law should deal with technologies that blur man and machine' and contains and interview to Prof. Erica Palmerini - RoboLaw project coordinator - and Dr. Pericle Salvini. You can read the online version of the entire article here .
RoboLaw Public Workshop on 'Neurotechnological Interventions: Therapy or Enhancement'
Call for paper and participation. Although individual papers may take casuistry from the fields of neurotechnology and robotics as their starting point, the workshop and the volume-to-be-published, and, by the same token, the papers, will primarily focus on some often returning fuzzy distinctions and arguments in the debate on human enhancement in general. The distinction between therapy and enhancement itself is exemplary in this respect. The distinction is often not meant to merely serve the theoretical purpose of creating definitional clarity; it is also often implicitly used to depict a class of actions as morally unproblematic (therapy) and a class of actions as morally problematic (enhancement).The distinction has of course been criticized because of the blurred lines between therapy and enhancement as it builds on a presupposed vague notion of normal health conditions. The implicit normative connotations, however, also tend to cause a lot of confusion. In addition, many of the ethical concerns explicitly put forward in the general debate on human enhancement, especially those in which notions such as unnaturalness, cheating, injustice, dignity et cetera occur, appear to be multilayered and often overlapping with other arguments. In their clustered compound guise they can easily obfuscate original intuitions or emotions of indignation, but also block possibilities of resolution and agreement. When they are meticulously analyzed and reduced to underlying constituents these arguments often become more persuasive or at least manageable.
You are kindly invited to submit abstracts (300 words max), briefly describing how the paper that you intend to submit, will shed new light on the traditional distinctions and arguments in the debate on human enhancement. The use of casuistry from cognitive enhancement, neurotechnology or robotics is welcomed, but not a necessary condition. Contributions from law, ethics, philosophy of technology, science and technology studies, economics and general regulation studies are especially appreciated, but scholars in the social sciences, science and technology should not hesitate to submit. By emailing me (Anton.Vedder@uvt.nl) your abstract you commit yourself upon acceptance to send me a draft version of your full paper (max 8000 words) before 1 November in a recent Word or PDF format so that it can be easily circulated among the workshop participants. Whether a paper will be included in the volume to be published will be decided after receiving the very final version of the paper after the author's workshop.
Before 1 September: Send an email to Anton.Vedder@uvt.nl confirming your attendance, expressing your intention to either submit a paper or act as a commentator/reviewer.
Before 8 September: Send an email to Anton.Vedder@uvt.nl with a 300 words abstract of the paper you intend to submit.
Before 15 September: Notification of acceptance.
Before 1 November: If your abstract has been accepted, send an email to Anton.Vedder@uvt.nl with a draft of your full paper in Word or PDF (with at least lay-out and style technicalities as bearable).
Before 8 November: Circulation of papers
15-16 November 2012: Workshop
7 December: Selected final papers to be handed in.
Workshop on 'Regulating Technological Development at the Intersection of Science and Law'
Regulation is defined as the intentional influencing of a subject’s behavior. Law is for certain the most obvious example of this, but other mechanisms achieve the same result: moral and social norms, authorities and institutions, market and organizations to name a few. Because of the extreme diversity of the fields, which may require an external intervention to attain desired outcomes or to prevent undesired consequences, over the past decades the importance of alternative approaches has been stressed, and labels such as “smart regulation”, “responsive regulation” or “passive regulation” were elaborated to depict a wider array of tools to be used to tackle this task. In particular some areas of modern socio-economic interaction seem to require a switch from a command-and-control legislation and enforcement, typical of the classical democratic setting, to a kind of co-regulation and participatory governance of the legislative process involving external players, who do not belong to the State institutions, called to intervene.
Technological innovation certainly represents a case in point. Not only does it develop in a transnational context, being the purport of the cooperation of articulated research teams spread over the globe, but it is also, by its very nature, a cross-boundary phenomenon, which runs across jurisdictions most often extremely distant from one another, even with respect to axiological choices. Hence a traditional hard law approach frequently appears to be inadequate, while soft law may be preferable.
The workshop, articulated in two panels, will address thes issue, both from a theoretical and a case-scenario perspective. The first panel deals with the possible dimensions of technology regulation, considering the nature and role of technical standardization and transnational private regulation, thus aiming at providing a definition of technical norms as opposed to legal norms and ethical norms, even in a European and comparative perspective. The second panel focuses on the current use of these diverse regulatory tools in some relevant fields, intended as case-studies: agri-food technologies, ICT’s, telecommunications, environmental protection and emerging technologies. Finally the differences between soft and hard law, legal norms and technical standards, with regards to the capacity to produce a viable and satisfactory “legislative outcome”, will be addressed.
Click here to open the workshop programme.
RoboLaw Kick Off Meeting
The RoboLaw Kick Off Meeting was held in Odense (Denmark) on March 5th, 2012 in the framework of the European Robotics Forum (ERF). The meeting was open to the public and it consisted of a series of targeted presentations on the theme of robotics and law, which were given by the project partners. The presence of the RoboLaw project at ERF illustrates the relevance of the topic for the robotics community and the effort that the European Commission is doing in addressing and trying to fill the legal gap that currently hinders the development of a sustainable robotic market. Following are the links to the RoboLaw Workshop programme, including the abstracts of the presentations, and the opening presentation given by the RoboLaw project coordinator Prof. Erica Plamerini, in which it is provided an overview of the RoboLaw project.
RoboLaw: Project Overview
The main objective of the research in this project is to investigate the ways in which emerging technologies in the field of (bio-) robotics (e.g. bionics, neural interfaces and nanotechnologies) have a bearing on the content, meaning and setting of the law. In the RoboLaw project the ways in which regulation (both in terms of soft and hard law) may be affected by, and even in need of adjustment in light of, advances in robotics, with a special focus on human enhancement will be researched. To do so the current state-of-the-art of legislation and regulation pertaining to robotics will be analysed, and the areas of regulation that are in need of adjustment or revision due to the advent of emerging robotics technologies will be identified. Moreover, the interrelations between technical, legal and moral norms in this field will be studied, in order to define what could be the best balance between them, and to promote a technically feasible, yet also ethically and legally sound basis for future robotics developments. Uncovering ethical values embedded into robotics technologies, and ethical consequences arising from their use, is another key element of this research. The most important outcome of the RoboLaw project will consist of some "Guidelines on Regulating Robotics", containing regulatory suggestions for the European Commission, in order to establish of a solid framework of 'robolaw' in Europe.
Project acronym: RoboLaw
Project title: Regulating Emerging Technologies in Europe: Robotics Facing Law and Ethics
Funding scheme: Collaborative project
Project number: 289092
Call Identifier: FP7-SCIENCE-IN-SOCIETY-2011- 1
Activity Code: SiS.2011.1.1.1-3: Regulating emerging scientific and technological developments
EU Financial Contribution:1.497.966 EUR
Duration: 24 Months
Starting date: March 1st, 2012
Name of coordinating person: Prof. Erica Palmerini (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy)