RoboLaw Project Results
DeliverablesD2.1 Technical, legal and moral norms
Description: Deliverable D2.1 consisted in the public Workshop Regulating Technological Development at the Intersection of Science and Law organised by the Consortium leader, the Scuola Superiore Sant’'Anna of Pisa. As scheduled in the project Description of Work the Workshop was held in Pisa in month 4, on 21-22 June 2012, in rooms 3 and 6 of the School. The main purpose of this Workshop was to investigate, discuss and asses the relationship between technical, legal and moral norms, both from a theoretical and a case-scenario perspective. More specific objectives were: analysing possible dimensions and distinctive features of technoregulation; addressing the differences between soft and hard law, legal norms and technical standards, with regard to the capacity to produce a viable and satisfactory “legislative outcome; exemplifying through some case-studies the current use of different regulatory tools in some relevant fields, in order to draw some lessons for regulation of the specific domain of robotic technologies. Thanks to the above-mentioned Workshop and its proceedings the Consortium fulfilled Milestone (MS) 3, which aimed at defining the best balance between technical, legal and moral norms and the most suitable rules to conciliate the transnational character of scientific and technological research. Moreover Milestone 4 Connection between soft law/hard law and ethical self-regulation was accomplished through defining the connection between soft law/hard law and ethical self-regulation in the different fields of technological research and application of emerging technologies.
D2.2 The connection between so ft law/hard law and ethic al self-regulation in the different fields
The result of this deliverable is the book Law and Technology. The Challenge of Regulating Technological Development edited by Erica Palmerini and Elettra Stradella and published by Pisa University Press
(From the back cover) The role played by robotic technologies in contemporary society has significantly increased over the last decades. The impact of technological innovation on human life and values, such as identity, health and bodily integrity, privacy, autonomy and human dignity, poses new challenges to legal notions and raises many regulatory questions. Understanding whether a new regulatory ground is needed for the development and launch of emerging technologies or whether, on the contrary, problems posed by robotic technologies can be handled in the framework of existing rules is the main goal of the RoboLaw European project “Regulating Emerging Robotic Technologies in Europe: Robotics Facing Law and Ethics”, funded under FP7 – Science in Society. This volume originates from the valuable discussion carried out during the workshop that was held on 21-22 June 2012 in Pisa, in the framework of the RoboLaw project. The workshop aimed at analyzing the sources of law at stake in view of the regulation of technological development, with a special focus on soft law, transnational private regulation and technical norms and standards. Starting from a general overview of the questions raised by the use and spread of these legal devices, they are examined from a theoretical perspective and according to their current use in some “sensitive” fields of application (biotechnologies, food technologies, ICT, risk assessment). Moreover, the contributions give specific attention to transnational private regulation (TPR) and its relations with, on the one hand, merchant law and, on the other hand, international public regimes. This book represents the very first step towards the elaboration of Guidelines for the regulation of robotic technologies in Europe, which will be presented by the RoboLaw Consortium to the European Commission in 2014.
Table of contents
E.Palmerini The interplay between law and technology, or the RoboLaw project in context
D3.1 Inventory of current state of robolaw
Description: This deliverable explores the current regulatory landscape pertaining to robotics. It describes existing regulation – both hard law and soft law, such as technical standards – in a number of legal areas and jurisdictions, as well as three case studies which discuss how national legislation could apply to different types of robots. In this report, the field of robotics is interpreted broadly. It includes traditional robots or 'machines', i.e., constructed systems that display both physical and mental agency, but are not alive in the biological sense. Examples are industrial robots, domestic robots, care robots, medical and surgery robots, autonomous vehicles, and humoids/animoids. The field also includes softbots (autonomous software agents) and hybrid-bionic systems (human beings who are equipped with robotic technologies or biomedically enhanced, e.g., mechatronic and biomedical prostheses, soft tissue modelling, and brain/neural interfaces). Since the field of robotic technologies is very broad and potentially touches upon very diverse legal domains and issues, a discussion of the regulatory landscape cannot be comprehensive. Three limitations apply. First, we focus the analysis on EU law and the national law of countries represented in the RoboLaw consortium (the Netherlands, Italy, the UK, and Germany), along with a discussion of US law. Second, we limit the analysis to those areas of law that are likely to have a general bearing on the broad field of robotics. Five common legal themes are discussed: health, safety, consumer, and environmental regulation; liability (including product liability and liability in certain sectors); intellectual property rights (both to the robot itself and to works created by the robot); privacy and data protection; and capacity to perform legal transactions (e.g., whether intelligent agents can enter into contracts). Third, the discussion of these fields is exploratory. Since robot-specific regulation does not exist in most fields, sketching the regulatory landscape implies a broad description of the area in general and an application of relevant elements of the field, as far as is possible, to certain forms of robotics. Because of the exploratory character and time restrictions, this application is necessarily limited in scope and preliminary in nature. Thus, the aim of this deliverable is not to provide a comprehensive description of existing regulation in the chosen jurisdictions. Rather, the aim is to provide a general overview of how regulation could apply to robotics, in order to uncover where gaps in regulation may potentially occur and to highlight relevant questions that need further study in more detailed, context-specific analyses.
D3.2 A methodology to analyze existing legal provisions
Description: The field of robotics regulation is very broad, both because ‘robots’ is an umbrella term for a wide variety of applications, and because norms regulating robots can be found in a very wide range of laws (in different legal areas and jurisdictions) as well as in self-regulation, technical standards, and social norms. In order to be able to map this very broad field, which is part of the RoboLaw enterprise, this deliverable aims to develop a methodology that provides guidelines for knowing what to map and how to structure and colour the map. It provides a first comprehensive taxonomy of concepts and distinctions that are potentially relevant for robotics regulations. The methodology consists of two parts. The first part presents concepts and distinctions relevant for identifying and describing norms. The first element is where to find norms: which forms of regulation are relevant (not only law but also “soft law”, i.e. standards, and social norms), which jurisdictions are potentially relevant, and what are possible legal areas and application areas that regulate different types of robotics? The second element is to identify the type and status of norms in the hierarchy of norms, ranging from fundamental, inalienable rights to non-binding self-regulatory rules. This involves looking at the appearance, bindingness, and origin of rules, which may have different importance depending on the legal tradition. The third element is to identify the context and purpose of the norms, as the existence and gist of norms is related to the stage of technological development, the level(s) and types of risk involved, and the purpose that the norms aim to achieve in their context. After having identified and briefly described norms, the inventory of robotics regulation can use the second part of the methodology to provide a more in-depth analysis of the regulatory field. This part zooms in on the norms identified and described, by providing concepts and distinctions that can be used to classify and compare them. Potentially relevant aspects for classifying norms are the regulatory pitch, range, tilt, and connectivity; whether and to what extent the norms involve fundamental legal concepts and values; and which (possibly hidden) constraints and perspectives (e.g., cultural or linguistic frames or cultures) underline the norms. Comparing norms involves a method of comparative legal research, which should take into account all different ‘formants’ composing the legal system of different jurisdictions. An approach is proposed of asking questions and describing cases of regulatory relevance, related to different developments in robotics, and to analyse how different legal systems will address these questions and cases. This deliverable can be used as a starting point for the next step in the RoboLaw project: identifying and describing existing regulatory provisions that apply to robotics technologies and applications. The two-part taxonomy of concepts and distinctions provides a useful tool to help narrowing down the broad field of robotics regulation into a meaningful, illustrative sample of existing regulatory provisions applying to robotics. Following the various issues and questions in the order in which they are presented in this deliverable will enable the RoboLaw researchers to ask meaningful questions at the right time and to make decisions on which elements to select and describe.
D3.3 Opportunities and risks of robotics in relation to human values
D3.3 "Opportunities and risks of robotics in relation to human values" was a public workshop, which was held on 23 & 24 April 2013, in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
The public workshop was attended by the authors of the papers to discuss the draft contributions and by other RoboLaw participants who are interested in the theme and willing to review and make initial comments on one or some of the papers.
The selected contributions will be published in a book volume to be published by Pisa University Press in the RoboLaw series. The title of the volume is "Opportunities and risks of robotics in relation to human values".
The book is in progress and its release is expected in Autum 2013. Further information will be uploaded here.
D4.1 Taxonomy of Robotic Technologies
In this deliverable a classification of robots is proposed. It consists of five main classes, which have been identified by taking into account the most recurring features present in definitions of robots. The classes selected for the taxonomy are:
1) Matter or embodiment: it refers to the physicality or the embodiment of a robot. It consists of the ways in which a robot manifests itself in a specific environment. Among the most popular forms of embodiments are: machines (i.e. conventional, iron-based mechatronic machines), software (i.e. also know as softbots or artificial software agents), and hybrid bionic systems, namely robots made by the coupling of biological and artificial matter.
2) Autonomy level: it refers to the level of autonomy of a robot. It consists of the power to influence or direct robot behaviour. The range of autonomy levels goes from fully autonomous to fully operated robots, as in tele-robotics or tele-operation systems. Intermediate forms of autonomy are also possible, such as shared control systems.
3) Function; it refers to the purpose or task for which the robot has been designed. Industrial and service robots, are among the main categories frequently used to distinguish robots according to their function. The latter refers to robots designed to carry out tasks in human inhabited environments, the former refers to robots designed for industrial applications.
4) Environment, it refers to the surroundings or conditions in which a robot operates (e.g. air, ground, water, human body) and finally,
5) Human-robot interaction: it refers to the various types of relations that can exist between human beings and robots and the ways in which humans and robots communicate and collaborate with each other. The present document should be considered as an attempt to identify a robot roadmap for guidance and future reference. The classes identi fied are analytic and has epistemological value since they help to make sense of the field of robotics.
Furthermore, the deliverable contains a glossary section devoted to the clarification of the most popular terminology used in robotics.
D4.2 State-of-the-art in robotic research: case-studies from SSSA and UoR Laboratories
Description: This document reports on the identification of robotics prototypes and applications to be used as case studies in the RoboLaw project. The document has been edited by partners SSSA and UoR. The document consists of a list and a short description of a number of research projects (national and international) carried out both at the BioRobotics Institute (SSSA) and the University of Reading (UoR). The projects have been selected according to their relevance for the for RoboLaw activities, in particular taking into account their potential implications with human rights and capabilities. A list and a short description of potentially relevant applications and projects outside of the consortium is also provided in order to fill some gaps and allow the project consortium to deal with a wider range of robotic technologies and applications, in particular in view of D6.1 ‘Guidelines on Regulations of Robotics’. The case studies described in the report include the following general applications: healthcare robots (i.e. rehabilitation, neurorehabilitaiton, prosthesis, assist devices and surgery), assistance to the elderly and disabled, logistics (i.e. systems towards vehicular autonomy), implant studies, and unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e. drones). Outside of the RoboLaw consortium, it was decided to include software agents, nanorobots, telepresence robots and warfare robotics.
D4.3 Taxonomy of human capabilities in a world of robotics
Description: In studying the ethical and social implications of emerging robotic technologies, the concept of “human capabilities” plays an important role. Many ethical and legal norms are grounded on assumptions of what humans are (and should be) capable of doing. Robots (interpreted broadly as mechatronic devices, softbots as well as hybrid--bionic systems, see D4.1) and humans interact in multiple ways, which can have all kinds of effects on the capabilities of humans. This report aims to prepare the stage to address ethical and legal concerns with respect to robotic technologies, by providing a clarification of the concept of human capabilities and articulating in which ways human capabilities can be affected in a world of robotics. It addresses the following research question: what are the human capabilities that are affected by robots that are potentially relevant in the short and medium term for the EU regulatory framework? A working definition for ‘human capability’ is: the power or ability of humans to do something. ‘Humans’ can be understood as entities belonging to the species Homo sapiens, or, in legal terms, the bearers of human rights. ‘Doing something’ should be broadly interpreted, covering both physical and mental (including emotional) activities. Human capabilities are closely related to human functioning, which has been classified by the World Health Organization in an International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Moving beyond the ICF classification’s focus on disease, disability and physical performance, the Capability Approach developed by Nussbaum and Sen addresses the question of human functioning also in terms of practical reasoning, imagination and affiliation. Moreover, this approach provides a perspective of how humans are empowered to do something, which is a useful perspective to apply in the European regulatory framework that is built on human rights and fundamental freedoms. Both the ICF and the Capability Approach include the environment of humans as an important factor in understanding human capabilities. The key role that technology plays in humans’ environment has been further elucidated in philosophy of technology and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Within human-technology relationships, some values or power-relations are promoted more than others, and roles and responsibilities are distributed in specific ways. Technologies modulate what we value and how much we value it. Therefore, the understanding of the relationships between technologies and human capabilities sheds further light on the interaction between these technologies and our moral standards and values, making the technological dimension at least as important as the biological and social dimensions of human capabilities. Based on the ICF, the Capability Approach, and STS insights into human-technology relationships, a taxonomy of the potential impact of robotics on human capabilities can be constructed, consisting of:
- different types of human capabilities, consisting of various body functions and body structures, capabilities for various activities and participation, as well as imagination, affiliation, practical reasoning, and relating to other species;
- different types of impact of the robot on capabilities, particularly whether the robot affects the internal capability of an individual, through a change in the personal capacity to exercise the capability, or affects a combined (i.e., internal-external) capability, through impacting the environmental conditions in which an individual can exercise a capability;
- different types of human-robot relationships, including a background relation (shaping context without being consciously experienced), an alterity relation (with robots appearing as “quasi- others” with a certain degree of autonomy), an embodiment relation (if robots broaden the area of sensitivity of humans’ bodies to the world), an hermeneutic relation (if robots provide information that has to be interpreted and thus mediate human beings’ understanding of the world), and a pragmatic mediation (if roles and responsibilities are redistributed).
To illustrate how this taxonomy can be applied, this report discusses four cases of robotics technologies as developed in specific projects: a dexterous prosthesis and exoskeleton, a surgery robot, companion robots, and a deep learning robot. These examples show that capabilities may change in various ways, with some growing and some weakening, while new technologies also create new capabilities. Changes in capabilities are interwoven in complex ways: the fact of someone acquiring a new capability (such as touching very hot objects) also impacts on social relationships in affording for example labour capabilities but also indirectly affecting affective capabilities through the responses of other people to the new capability. The examples demonstrate the interdependence of humans and technology, which affect each other in a continuous process of mutual shaping. As robots and robotic technologies will gradually become an integral part of the world in which we live, we will see human capabilities progressively adapt to more symbiotic human-robot relationships. The ways in which this happens can be described in terms of the categories identified in the taxonomy. Such a description should, however, not only be undertaken on a theoretical or hypothetical basis (as is done in this report for illustrative purposes), but also on the basis of an empirical analysis studying the actual practices of particular robotics technologies. Robots do much more than what they are often expected to be doing. They influence practices, epistemologies and morality. A prosthetic hand will not only affect the user’s motor function and structure and thus her functioning in daily activities, but also spheres of life such as education, friendships, and family life. It will create new roles for the user, involving new or changed responsibilities. How human capabilities are valued will shift along with the changes afforded by human-robotics relationships. To fully appreciate the ways in which robotics affect human capabilities, one should therefore analyse how responsibilities and tasks are distributed in pragmatic relationships of humans and technology, in addition to the ways in which knowledge is gained and interpreted through hermeneutic mediation. Emerging robotic technologies do not simply enter into a particular relationship with human beings, but they also alter humans’ perceptions of the world and of themselves, they revise the meanings and values related to them, they distribute new roles among stakeholders, and they re-distribute moral and legal responsibilities among actors.
D4.4 Robotics and constitutional rights and freedoms
The deliverable D4.4 consisted in the scientific publication 'Robotic Technologies and Fundamental Rights: Robotics challenging the European Constitutional Framework' written by Bert-Jaap Koops (TILT), Angela Di Carlo (SSSA), Luca Nocco (SSSA), Vincenzo Casamassima (SSSA) and Elettra Stradella (SSSA).
As scheduled in the project Description of Work the scientific publication was accepted with minor revisions by 28 February 2013 by the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Technoethics, the Associate Professor of the University of Ottawa, Rocci Luppicini (cf. Section 1 “Manuscript acceptance” and Section 2 “International Journal of Technoethics Editor Summary Form”).
The article will be published in Autum 2013. Further information will be uploaded here.
D4.5 Rethinking Legal Frameworks on Capacity and Disability in Light of Human Enhancement and Robotics
Description: The aim of this document is to report the realisation of the deliverables D4.5 Legal aspects of enhancing human capacities through robotics and other technologies: an overview and D5.4 Rethinking Legal Frameworks on Capacity and Disability in Light of Human Enhancement and Robotics of the EU-funded project RoboLaw. These deliverables have been merged, for several reasons: they deal with similar topics from a legal and philosophical perspective respectively, they have the same dissemination level, and they have the output form of papers for a journal's special issue or a volume. Merging the deliverables has allowed for writing a larger collection of more substantial papers, which enables their publication in a special issue of a renowned academic journal that is completely devoted to the theme of robotics and enhancing human capacities. A proposal for a special issue was submitted to the journal Law, Innovation and Technology (Hart Publishing) and has been accepted by the editors-in-chief, Roger Brownsword and Han Somsen. LIT is a leading journal in the area of technology regulation in Europe. The issue is scheduled to be Vol. 5, Issue 2. As publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals takes considerable time between the date of submission and the date of publication, the papers have not yet been published. The draft papers included in this report need to go through a review procedure which will take place in the coming months. Thus, the version presented here is not the final version of the articles as they will appear in print, but their substance will not significantly change. The special issue is expected to appear in the Fall of 2013. You can find the Table of Contents of the special issue published in LIT HERE
D5.1 An ethical-philosophical analysis of the technological state-of-the-art in human enhancement
Description: This report will provide an ethical-philosophical analysis of human enhancement (HE). The main goal of our analysis is not to formulate a new definition for this medical, technological, and social phenomenon. There are so many definitions that over the years have been given with the aim to grasp this technological and societal phenomenon. That notwithstanding – or perhaps because of such a proliferating of definitions – we have found a conceptual and terminological vagueness which actually persists and represents a challenge for those who, like us, will try to analyze the HE with the intention to question it philosophically. In our analysis of human enhancement we will take the readers through the evolution of the debate. In this deliverable, human enhancement will be considered according to several approaches. It begins with pro-enhancement and anti-enhancement groupings and arrives at more reasonable view of ethical and social issues raised by technology-based visions of the future. Namely, for years the debate on HE has stalled on unilateral and polarized positions, the most famous ones are known respectively as “transhumanists” vs. “bioconservatives”. Over the time, new approaches have raised. These approaches help to clear some of the conceptual ground without siding with or against. They try to address HE – for instance – from the standpoint of the biomedical ethics. We do believe that the direction of these attempts is of significance, but the proposed solutions are not satisfactory. It is therefore important to learn from each rational and ethical standpoint of the debate in order to reach a more reasonable approach to HE. We do not need to reduce the HE to some specific moral principles or philosophical assumptions. At the contrary, we suggest a theoretical framework based on several fields of rational knowledge (technique, ethics, justice). Each level raises different philosophical issues. The more these fields get close to the complexity of the human condition, the more the issues raised by human enhancement are addressed effectively. As we will show in this report, the cornerstone of this theoretical pattern is the shift from single and divided fields of knowledge to a comprehensive framework. Such a comprehensive framework can foster a broad cultural political debate with the aim to encourage a normative approach that deals with threats, challenges and opportunities. Despite the plurality of approaches and definitions, there are strong indications that more and more effective enhancement technologies will be developed in the near future, and that some existing lines of research and development already have the potential to significantly alter human body, cognition and social competence. The discrepancy between what one can – concretely – define today HE and the visions with regard to emerging technologies and their impact raise fundamental questions concerning our views on human nature, human condition as well as on the future of our societies. Consequently, the real challenge is not to find a new definition. In a different way, the real challenge consists into connecting every possible definition and approach, considered as attempts to deal with the question about the goals of technology and medicine in our societies, with a democratic process of evaluation and deliberation. In so doing it should be possible to reach agreement that goes beyond aggregations of supporters and detractors of HE.
D5.2 Neuro-Technological Interventions: Therapy or Enhancement?
Description: The deliverable D5.2 consisted of an authors' workshop on innovative technologies for therapy and/or enhancement. The workshop was organized by TILT of Tilburg University, and held on 15-16 November, 2012, in the building of Tilburg Law School. After an open selection procedure on the basis of abstracts, ten (groups of) scholars were invited to write a full paper and present its headlines during the workshop. The papers of the workshop were discussed during the workshop. The authors were asked to use the comments in order to elaborate and further improve their papers. The main purpose of this Workshop was to investigate, discuss and assess traditional distinctions and arguments often put forward in discussions on human enhancement. More specific objectives were: finding out what distinctions and arguments are used by what groups of scholars and other stakeholders, and analysing these distinctions and arguments in order to clarify the current debates on enhancement and innovative technologies. The result of this deliverable is the book Beyond Therapy v. Enhancement? - Multidisciplinary analyses of a heated debate edited by Federica Lucivero and Anton Vedder and published by Pisa University Press
D5.3 Construction of a ‘Radical Embodied Cognition Thesis
Description: have, we need to explicate what kind of model of cognition is the basis of assumptions about what humans are. We suggest that introducing a “radical embodied cognition thesis”, concerning the necessary situatedness of minds like our in a shaped body and a structured environment, has far reaching consequences for our idea of what humans are and the description of their capabilities. Starting with this thesis, we already have a concrete and good idea of what humans are. Therefore ethical and social issues can take advantages from the clarification of theoretical issues associated with human cognition. Philosophical accounts on human cognition and capabilities have been mostly affected by mentalistic assumptions. In its negative form, the “radical embodied cognition thesis” states that functional, representational or computational explanatory schemata for human cognition (focusing on internal capacities of an individual) are misguided because they do not take into consideration the complexity and embeddedness of mental states in the actions of the whole organism. Differently, our deliverable “Construction of a radical Embodied Cognition Thesis”, examines the role played by the body in its interaction with the environment during thought-processes and perception. This thesis finds support in the fact that a higher human cognition is based on evolutionary more basic structures supporting perception that are defined by the specific interactions between organism and environment. A fascinating hands-on approach to such topics, which primarily stems from research in modern biology, can be found in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research. A large field of contemporary AI has turned away from modelling knowledge-based expert systems and has turned to low-level capacities of more simple systems that have to show a successful behaviour in an environment. In the last two decades, a new school of cognitive science was established under the label of “Embodied Cognition,” in which classical theories of artificial intelligence research, psychology, and neuroscience have been challenged. At its centre stands the assumption that cognition (thought, perception, emotion, and experience) cannot be explained by focusing on the brain, but must instead include references to the body and its interaction with the surrounding. This new school is usually opposed to the reductionist mind-brain models. Among other things, embodied cognition allows for theories about the reciprocal relationship between embodied conscious states and local neuronal activity. In so doing embodied cognition has a bearing on the way of accounting for human capabilities and consequently for their enhancement. Consistently, Embodied Cognition Thesis is of paramount significance not only for issues in philosophy of mind, but also for the ethical and social questions originated by emerging robotic technologies. Our working hypothesis is that the concept of situated and embodied cognition provides a tool that fits well with the clarification of the concept of humans and their capabilities. In order to understand human capabilities and their enhancement, one has to rely on a concept of agency that arises from specific modes of embodiment. Human capabilities, meant as actions that humans are capable of doing, are a concept of a descriptive and normative agency that depends on specific modes of embodiment. It is for this reason that we have to start from an embodied perspective even when we deal with sociopolitical contexts. In our opinion the link between embodiment and moral agency allows for addressing ethical issues in ways more adequate to political realities, personal relationships, and collective responsibilities. In order to give a general outline of an embodied account for human cognition bearing on ethical and political questions from a situated view, we will first clarify the concept of embodied cognition by contrasting with representational, and computational aspects of cognition. Then we will present constitution, “conceptualization” and “replacement” as three themes of embodied cognition. This will be followed by the description of the Extended Mind Hypothesis and its related Parity principle. The attempt to connect contemporary approaches of situated cognition with ethics and political theory is an attempt fully consistent with a view that regards humans as embodied and situated beings. Embodiment is a central epistemological problem and its integration with ethics and political theory contributes greatly to successfully deal with questions posed by emerging robotic technologies that are too complex to be answered by a disembodied view.
D5.4 Techno-regulation and robotics technologies for human enhancement: an analysis of behaviour-elicitation through design
Description: The aim of this document is to report the realisation of the deliverable D 5.4 Techno- Regulation and Robotic Technologies. An Analysis of Behaviour-Elicitation through Design of the EU-funded project RoboLaw. Tinkering about robot morality is almost as old as the concept of a robot itself. Asimov's three laws of robotics provide an early and well-discussed example of moral rules robots should observe. Despite the widespread influence of the three laws of robotics and their role in shaping visions of future robo-dense worlds, these laws have been neglected as futuristic by hands-on roboticists who have been busy with addressing less abstract questions about robots' behaviour concerning spacial locomotion, obstacles avoidance, automatic learning, among others. Between morality and function lies a vast gap. When robots enter our everyday lives they will have to observe social and legal norms. For example, social robots in the hospitals are expected to observe social rules (they should not interrupt a mourning family) and robotic dust cleaners scouring the streets for waste well have to observe traffic regulation. In this article we elaborate on the various ways in which robotic behaviour is regulated. We distinguish between imposing regulations on robots, imposing regulation by robots, imposing regulation in robots. In doing this, we distinguish regulation that aims at influencing human behaviour and regulation whose scope is robots' behaviour. We claim that the artificial agency of robots requires designers and regulators to look at the question of how regulating robot's behaviour in a way that it is compliant to legal norms. Regulation by design offers a means for this. We further explore this idea through an example of automated vehicles. An article based on this deliverable has been submitted to the journal Law, Innovation and Technology (Hart Publishing) with the title "Laws on robots, laws by robots, laws in robots: regulating robots' behaviour by design".
Description: RoboLaw's main goal consists in drafting guidelines for the European Commission concerning the regulatory challenges of new and emerging robotic technologies and recommendations on how to deal with them. In order to contribute to achieve this goal, this deliverable presents a methodology for identifying and analysing ethical issues in such cases of robotics research and application that RoboLaw has identified as relevant for legal analysis. In conceiving the basic framework for developing this ethical methodology, the following initial questions are crucial: What type of ethical analysis is more appropriate to support the main objective of RoboLaw? What are the features that such an ethical analysis should have? Which elements in the existing ethical reflection on robotics can be usefully implemented in this approach? How should such ethical analysis be conducted? The goal of this deliverable is therefore not only to illustrate, but also to give some reasons in favour of our approach to the analysis. The considerations presented in Chapter One and Two focus on the methodological questions. In these chapters we illustrate concepts, definitions, methods, materials and contexts of ethical reasoning, which we consider to be relevant in order to achieve an accurate identification and analysis of ethical issues within the field of robotics. Building on this basis, Chapter Three present our methods in detail. More specifically, Chapter One offers a critical and analytical reconstruction of the recent and actual ethical debate(s) on technology, including the scientific and public debates. The aim of this reconstruction is to address the question of what are the guiding principles of an ethical analysis of emerging robotics that contributes to drafting guidelines for policy-makers on RoboLaw in Europe. Chapter Two reconstructs the ethical debate on robotics and points out several concepts, theories and ethical arguments that have been brought forward by the recent literature in roboethics. This review helps to provide an overview of several issues that are relevant for the RoboLaw analysis. Chapter Three is divided in two parts. The first part presents the approach of ethical analysis, which we propose to adopt in the "Guidelines on regulating robotics", resuming the results of the considerations developed in the Chapters One and Two. The second part describes the steps for identifying and analysing ethical issues in robotics. The method outlined here will be implemented in D6.2. The approach that we embrace is context-sensitive, aware of the mutual shaping of technology, society and morality, and able to situate the ethical analysis in the context of political deliberation. It refuses to offer overall normative frameworks and instead is sensitive to specific situated contexts. Building on the pluralist ideal of democratic deliberation wherein different participants discuss their interests and normative positions, the proposed approach will collect and analyse the implicit normativity of these positions. The RoboLaw approach takes into account both the public debate on robotics and the academic literature since they highlight different aspects and perspectives. The normativity of the RoboLaw approach advocates the idea of improving the process of governance of robotics by creating better conditions for a democratic deliberation. This process is improved by including a broad range of stakeholders in the discussion concerning new technologies and investigating their normative assumptions and positions. Moreover, because of the exploratory character of RoboLaw the ethical analysis will be able to address short- and medium-term challenges posed by emerging technologies. Our approach provides a map of the ethical debate concerning robotic applications, both at the level of public discussion and of academic debate. In order to do so our approach acknowledges the importance of design as a relevant aspect of the ethical analysis. Uncovering the values inscribed in technological artefacts is the first step in order to initiate a discussion on their moral and ethical meaning, as well as to reflect on how specific values should be embedded in the design of said artefacts. The ethical analysis we propose builds on philosophy of technology and science and technology studies, determining how robots mediate the understanding and knowledge of the world. Apart from taking artefacts to be value-laden, another perspective is central in the RoboLaw approach. Robotic technologies also have an intermediary role in the way human beings interact with the world, understand and experience it. In this sense robots are not simply tools to reach a certain aim. Robots, like other technologies, contribute in bringing into being new human values and moralities by creating new life-forms and practices. The RoboLaw ethical analysis takes into account this aspect, pointing out how human-robot relationships create new practices, values and way of knowing.
D5.6 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.
The conference took place in Pisa (Italy) on 28th-29th November, 2013. More details available here
D6.1 Report on results from stakeholders meetings and questionnaires
Description: The objective of this deliverable is to report on the results of the activities carried out to involve stakeholders in the development of the research. As stated in the DoW, the involvement of an external network of stakeholders interested in robotics was aimed at gathering inputs on issues concerning regulation of robotic technologies. In particular, this deliverable provides and discusses the results of the following activities, that were undertaken during the second year of the RoboLaw project: the stakeholders meetings and a survey conducted through the elaboration of questionnaires. Given the confidentiality of the information contained in this report, it was decided to avoid public dissemination.
D6.2 Guidelines on regulating robotics
D6.3 Regulatory challenges of robotics
Description: Since deliverable D6.3 is the academic presentation of the main results of deliverable D6.2, and the two deliverables have been written in parallel, it was not feasible at this stage to submit a final text of the paper to a journal, as the finalisation needs to be based on the definitive version of D6.2 of 31 July 2014. Therefore, a working draft has been submitted to the journal Law, Innovation and Technology, which is a leading international journal at the crossroads of ethics, law, and emerging technologies, precisely fitting the scope of the RoboLaw project. The editor has expressed willingness to publish the paper in the second issue of LIT in 2015. The finalisation of the paper-following the review and publication process-falls outside of the funding period of the RoboLaw project and will be conducted by the authors from their institutional funding, as a post-project dissemination activity.
D7.1 RoboLaw general meeting
Description: 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 (D6.2 Guidelines for Regulating Robotics Technologies).
D7.2 RoboLaw internet-based in formation system
Description: The outcome of the deliverable is the RoboLaw project web-site, which is available at http://www.robolaw.eu. The RoboLaw web-site has been successfully implemented and has been on-line since month 1.The RoboLaw web-site will be maintained and updated during the post-project time.
D7.3 Report on public events and scientific publications
Description: The objective of this deliverable is to report on the dissemination activities carried out during the project life time, focusing on scientific publications and public events. To sum up, during the project lifetime (27 months) 16 articles have been published in scientific journals, 4 special issues edited in scientific journals, 14 articles appeared as contributions to edited books, 26 presentations given at scientific conferences, 4 books edited in the RoboLaw Series, and 1 PhD dissertation. As far as outreach activities are concerned, numerous activities have been carried out targeted at different stakeholders, including interviews in newspapers or in scientific popular magazines and events for the civil society. Among the most outstanding results are the articles appeared on The Economist and Wired and the prize won by the project coordinator E. Palmerini at the at the 2013 WORLD TECHNOLOGY AWARD in the Law category. DOWNLOAD
D7.4 Final plan for using and disseminating RoboLaw