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ERF WORKSHOP: Tools for inclusive robotics: ethics, RRI, taxation & social dialogue

5 March, 2020 @ 12:15 pm UTC+2


  • 10:45 – 10:50  –  Welcome from our research projects
  • 10:50 – 11:10 – EU & UNESCO perspectives
  • 11:10 – 1130 – Standards for social responsibility & regulations to protect privacy
  • 11:30 – 11-40    –  Open voting & discussion
  • 11:40 – 12:00    –    How governance arrangements encourage translation of research outcomes (on implants)? Can robots be used to match (autistic) workers’ abilities in SMEs? How can the tax systems support sustainable robotics and AI
  • 12:00 – 12:10 – Open voting & discussion
  • 12:10 – 12:15 – Concluding remarks


Prof. Juan José Hinojosa, Dean, School of Law, University of Málaga

Prof. María Amparo Grau Ruiz, Leader of INBOTS WP2, Univ. Complutense of Madrid


  Vincent Müller

Professor Vincent C. Müller is Professor for Philosophy of Technology at the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e), University Fellow at the University of Leeds and Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute, London – as well as President of the European Society for Cognitive Systems and Chair of the euRobotics topics group on ‘ethical, legal and socio-economic issues’. He is known for his research on theory and ethics of disruptive technologies, particularly artificial intelligence. He has published more than 40 academic papers as well as 16 edited volumes on the philosophy of AI and cognitive science, philosophy of computing, philosophy of language, applied ethics, etc. (citations: h-15). He is principal investigator of “Inclusive Robotics for a Better Society” (INBOTS) and on the large platform project AI4EU. He is a senior participant on the NL ‘Gravitation’ grant on the “Ethics of Disruptive Technologies” (17.9M€). He has generated ca. 3.9 mil.€ research income for his institutions.


  Eduard Fosch

Dr. Fosch-Villaronga is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Researcher at the eLaw Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden University (NL) and the co-leader of the Ethical, Legal, and Societal Aspects Working Group at the H2020 Cost Action 16116 on Wearable Robots. Eduard investigates legal and regulatory aspects of robot and AI technologies, with a special focus on healthcare. Eduard recently published the book ‘Robots, Healthcare, and the Law. Regulating Automation in Personal Care’ with Routledge and is interested in human-robot interaction, responsible innovation, and the future of law. Previously, he worked as a researcher at the Microsoft Cloud Computing Research Center at Queen Mary University of London (the UK, 2018) investigating the legal implications of cloud robotics; and at the University of Twente (NL, 2017) as a postdoc, exploring iterative regulatory modes for robot governance. Eduard Fosch-Villaronga holds an Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate (EMJD) in Law, Science, and Technology coordinated by the University of Bologna (IT, 2017), an LL.M. from University of Toulouse (FR, 2012), an M.A. from the Autonomous University of Madrid (ES), and an LL.B. from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (CAT, 2011). Eduard is also a qualified lawyer in Spain and his publications are available online.



  Mihalis Kritikos “The European approach to AI and robotics”

BIO: Dr Mihalis Kritikos is a Policy Analyst at the European Parliament working as a legal/ethics advisor on Science and Technology issues (STOA/EPRS) and Fellow of the Law Science Technology & Society Programme of the University of Brussels (VUB-LSTS). Mihalis is a legal expert in the fields of EU decision-making, legal backcasting, food/environmental law, the responsible governance of science and innovation and the regulatory control of new and emerging risks. He has worked as a Research Programme Manager for the Ethics Review Service of the European Commission, as a Senior Associate in the EU Regulatory and Environment Affairs Department of White and Case (Brussels office) and as a Lecturer at several UK Universities and a Lecturer/Project Leader at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA). He also taught EU Law and Institutions for several years at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He holds a Bachelor in Law (Athens Law School), Master degrees in European and
International Environmental Law and Environmental Management (University of Athens and EAEME respectively) and a PhD in European Risk Regulation (London School of Economics-LSE). In 2008 he won the UACES Prize for the Best Thesis in European Studies in Europe.



A wide range of countries and international organisations have adopted AI initiatives and the European institutions are no exception. The various EU initiatives focus on ethics and the human aspects of AI which is in line with what is often cited as the ‘European approach’ of aligning AI development with social values. The talk will examine these initiatives as shapers of an EU governance framework on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Special attention will be paid to the ethical and legal aspects of these policy actions for the governance of this disruptive technological sector. The session will discuss whether the pervasive, growing and transformative character of these technologies fits well with the established EU institutional and legal acquis and whether might succeed in its attempts to design our values into AI and robotics.


  Juliana Chaves Chaparro “Responsible Research and Innovation. UNESCO efforts and lessons from the RRING Project”


BIO: Ms. Juliana Chaves-Chaparro, MSc in Environmental sciences and PhD fellow on Sociology, is senior consultant to UNESCO to promote the science-policy-society thorugh i.a. RRI and Sustainability science projects. With extensive experience in the co-design and assessment of research and innovation in developing countries and in the sub-Saharan Africa in particular, she has recently produced a UNESCO open access publication presenting five national case studies and extracting policy guidance on how to promote a more inclusive, interdisciplinary and action oriented science in the region: “Co-designing science in Africa: first steps in assessing the sustainability science approach from the ground”



Whilst research and innovation are presented to have a positive impact on society, projected innovations often do not reach expected social impacts and contribution to development agendas. The UNESCO Recommendation on science and scientific research (RS/SR) approved by its 195 member states in 2017, represents an unique normative and benchmarking document that promotes more ethical, inclusive, meaningful and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and reinforced scientific researchers status over the world to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG´s).  In this same line, the RRI Networked Globally (RRING ) H2020 project monitors RRI globally and incorporates cultural and contextual elements to support RRI competitive advantage, UNESCO RS/SR implementation and SDG´s attainment (WP 6 lead by UNESCO) in all regions. RRING lessons can help to showcase advantages, limitations, and challenges of the RRI approach in other high socio-economic impact sectors as robotics.


  Saskia Maresch  “Social assessment framework of robotic applications”


BIO: Saskia Maresch is a Project Manager in the Innovation department at DIN and has a M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Her area of responsibility is the management of national and European research and development projects in the field of standardization, e.g. in issues of energy, crisis management, city resilience and robotics (e.g. FlAixEnergy, SMR, COROMA, INBOTS, DRIVER+).




The aim of standardization is to facilitate the exchange of goods and services through the elimination of technical barriers to trade. But doesn’t standardization also have a social responsibility? Should the standardization system only focus on technical barriers or also societal issues? Social responsibility means the incorporation of social and sustainable considerations in companies and their accountability for it (buzzwords: misuse, trust, accountability, transparency, diversity, dignity). Currently all robotics related standards focus on performance criteria’s, test methods and in general physical safety issues, but none on social responsibility. Only the overarching “ISO 26000:2010 Guidance on social responsibility” and “ISO Guide 82:2014 Guidelines for addressing sustainability in standards” exist. Against this background a potential social assessment framework from crisis management will be introduced and its transformation to other robotic application domains will be discussed with the workshop participants.

  Ricardo Morte FerrerEthics and Privacy in inclusive robotics”


BIO: Ricardo Morte Ferrer is a Lawyer, Data Protection and IT-Security Consultant. He is a member of the board at LI²FE (Laboratorio de Investigación e Intervención Filosófica y Ética), of the German Working Group for the Standard Data Protection Modell (SDM) and of the Working Group Digitalization and Health at the German Academy for Ethics in the Medicine (AEM).



New technologies, such as robot companions, smart screen assistants, or wearable technology with sensors that record physiological variables to monitor habitual patterns of life, are suggested as devices that promote personal autonomy. The recorded data, once processed, can offer information about health, habits, etc., and allow, in principle, to make more autonomous decisions about one’s own well-being and quality of life. But this technological scenario claims an extreme protection of personal autonomy too. Health monitoring could impact privacy, identity, integrity, and the protection of personal data. Therefore, it is necessary to broaden the ethical reflection: from the UN Convention to the relevant regulations on privacy and data protection (RGPD and Draft Privacy Regulation ePrivacy) and the Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) provided in art. 35 RGPD, which is especially relevant for the realm of assistive technologies. All these regulations have the essential goal to protect the affected individuals in the asymmetric power relations in which they are faced with the organizations and governments that develop, implement, and manage assistive technologies. In this kind of relationship, it seems especially important to ensure the effective protection of the personal autonomy of the data subjects.

  Saheli Datta BurtonExploring how existing governance arrangements (or its lack) encourage or discourage research and translation of emerging nanorobotic implants”


BIO: Saheli Datta Burton is a postdoctoral STS scholar at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London, a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Politics, University of Vienna, and Editor of Science and Technology Studies, the house journal of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology. Saheli’s research considers the socioethical and international political-economic issues of emerging technologies in health and medicine specifically focusing on regenerative medicine, data-driven health and (recently) robotics-assisted nanomedicine.




Emerging nanorobotic implants hold immense promise for medicine and health. Implantable brain-computer interfaces are increasingly used in neuro-prostheses and brain-controlled exoskeletons with primary aims of rehabilitating patients with impaired mobility. Emerging motile-implants –that is nanorobotics enabled motile nanoparticles performing specific in-vivo tasks such as targeted drug-delivery or incisions– promise to replace costly invasive surgeries and systemic (whole body) therapies such as chemotherapy with targeted therapeutics. A key characteristic of these emerging artefacts is that they will have some level of autonomy to perform tasks and will communicate with a human or artificially intelligent agent external to the host’s body. This suggests substantial ethical and philosophical issues. How existing governance arrangements (or its lack) encourage or discourage research and translation of these emerging artefacts? Governance perspectives not only include regulatory arrangements for translating research from bench to bedside but also the organisation of interdependent infrastructures such as funding mechanisms, skills availability and entrepreneurial support. Questions also arise around biocompatibility and safety issues linked to RFID-tracking/hacking/data privacy. Importantly, how society responds and engages with these speculations (e.g. governing (motile) implants as molecules and cells) or even the attendant regulatory uncertainties, have implications for translational outcomes. What is needed (e.g. policy changes) to routinise these artefacts into practice for the benefit of society?


Nadine Bender “Researching the impact of mental health in human-cobot interaction in industry from an anthropological point of view with the goal of allowing more inclusion for autistic workers”

BIO: Social scientist working at KUKA’s Corporate Research department. There her research focus is on social impacts of robotics, specifically ethical and psycho-social issues in the human-robot interaction. She received her bachelor degree in Social Sciences in 2011 at University of Augsburg which qualified her for a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) full scholarship to study the Master’s degree “International Financial and Political Relations” in Loughborough, UK. In December 2012, she graduated with a distinction, while she had already started working at the Chief Innovation Office at KUKA AG in November 2012. There her focus was the scientific research of a widespread field of robotics related topics, thus preparing the content layer of several presentations and strategic papers. In September 2015 Nadine joined the Project Office of KUKA’s Corporate Research department; first as support for the RockEU and RockEU2 projects and since 2017 as analyst of social impacts of robotics. Here she has been actively contributing to the integrated technology development process and for example written analyses for both European and national research projects like REFILLS, MURAB and RoSylerNT. With the start of 2020, she is leading the new H2020 project MindBot at KUKA and is contributing further to the development of the personal transfer assistant in hospitals, PeTRA (German funded project).



In order to contribute to the workshop session, the new H2020 project MindBot will be introduced to the workshop participants. In the MindBot project a very multi-disciplinary consortium aims to promote mental health of cobot workers in industry 4.0 and to hither promote strategies for the support of mental health in human-robot interaction. The primary objective of the project is to intervene on technological, relational and organizational aspects of the cobot-based work, in order to match the cobots work to the workers ability. To reach this goal, the inclusion of autistic workers as experts is also part of the project. The presentation will focus on the different phases of the project, methods used and the challenges presented in the project regarding ethical questions and the protection of worker’s privacy rights, also connected to the special focus of the project: Integration of people with autism into the workforce of SMEs.


 Amparo Grau “How the tax systems can support RRI, skilling and sustainable translational outcomes”


BIO: Full Professor of Financial and Tax Law, Complutense University of Madrid. Visiting Professor of Transnational Taxation, Northwestern University. Principal Investigator at the UCM of the EU project H2020 “Inclusive Robotics for a Better Society (INBOTS)” and leader of its WP2 on ethical, legal, social and economic  issues. Principal Investigator of the CertificaRSE MINECO-FEDER project on “Legal-Financial Effects, And Control Of The Social Impact For Sustainable Development” (DER2015-65374-R). Leader of the Research Group 970774 IUS-SustentaRSE “Law for Sustainable Development”. Member of the Subcommittee on Environmental Taxation, appointed by the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.




Funding, either from public or private sources, is needed to finance any sustainable development oriented policy. Its implementation in the field of robotics and AI, as a mainstream strategy, calls for the discussion of clear common guidelines. In this sense, some parts of the current tax systems could be reviewed in order to cope with the newest societal aspirations expressed in the Global Agenda. The design of controllable tax incentives could rely on the smart use –with intelligent robots- of relevant Big data for Environmental, Social and Governance purposes. This might serve to give a more efficient joint response to several international problems. Could companies and Public Finance incorporate these features in their lines of action?

ERF WORKSHOP: Tools for inclusive robotics: ethics, RRI, taxation & social dialogue


5 March, 2020
12:15 pm UTC+2
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Amparo Grau


Trade Fairs and Congress Center of Malaga (FYCMA)
Ortega y Gasset, 201
Málaga, Málaga 29006 Spain
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