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 biomechatronic 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 a "White Paper on Regulating Robotics", containing regulatory guidelines 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)