Responsible Ethical Learning in Robotics

REELER is an interdisciplinary H2020 project, funded by the European Commission (grant no. 731726) as part of the commission’s effort toward RRI-SSH integration, mixing different “distances” between different disciplines as a ‘sister project’ aiming at fresh perspectives on issues of societal relevance for more technologically driven projects

REELER Consortium

With its 155 scholars and 80 PhD students the Danish School of Education (DPU), Aarhus University, is one of the largest education research environments in Europe.

Ab.Acus is a research-driven, market-oriented company aiming at spreading and exploiting ICT and engineering-based methodologies in the field of social sciences, humanities, and medicine.

The Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR) at De Montfort University is one of Europe’s premier academic sites for researching ethics and new technologies.

The Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences is the largest faculty with emphasis on modern, quantitative methods, excellence in basic research, and solving societal problems through interdisciplinary research.

REELER Team at Aarhus University

Cathrine Hasse

Project Coordinator

Stine Trentemøller

Jessica Sorenson

Sebastian Madsen

Maja Hojer Bruun

Christina Leeson

Mia Mathiasen

Wienke Reimer

Jamie Wallace

Niels Christian Mossfeldt Nickelsen

The Aarhus team also thanks:

Lila Anne Todd, Christian Djerving, Stephan Hansen and Sara-Lynn Lepage + all our skilled translators

REELER Team at Ab.Acus

Maria Bulgheroni

Project Partner

Alejandra Gomez

The Ab.Acus team also thanks:

Valentina Simonetti, Alex Gimondi, Walter Baccinelli

REELER Team at De Montfort University

Kathleen Richardson

Project Partner

Karolina Zawieska

Kate Davis

The De Montfort University team also thanks:

Donovan Anderson, Kane Carreras-Gogh

REELER Team at University Hohenheim

Andreas Pyka

Project Partner

Ben Vermeulen

The University of Hohenheim team also thanks:

Sophie Urmetzer

Advisory Board

Christina Cristalli

Anne Edwards

Charles Ess

Vincent Müller

Sabine Pfeiffer

Paolo Saviotti

Johanna Seibt

Marilyn Strathern

Responsible Ethical Learning in Robotics

REELER explores ethics in robotics, not as a philosophical topic, but as an anthropological inquiry into the people that make robots and the people that are affected by them, and the relational responsibility between them. The project’s research is focused on everyday  practices in robot development, the collaborations that make development possible, and the learning that occurs (or doesn’t occur) in these processes. Through the ‘multi-variation’ approach  (read more The multi-variation approach: Cross-case analysis of ethnographic fieldwork (2019)) the project has explored 11 different robot types in fieldworks in 13 different European countries. Across this variation the REELER project has found that in general robot developers need to work in closer collaboration with an expanded group of affected stakeholders to make responsible robots (read more Policy Recommendations).

The project involves four European partners from the fields of anthropology, learning, robotics, philosophy, and economics, working closely together in a research-driven collaboration between the SSH-RRI and Robotic-ICT communities. The project aims to raise awareness of the human potential in robotics development, with special attention to distributed development, relational responsibility, ethical and societal issues, collaborative learning, and the economic and societal impacts of robotization. These findings are summarized in the publication Perspectives on Robots with ethical guidelines for Human Proximity in robot development, as well as new understandings of users as affected stakeholders, and recommendations for policy makers and robot developers for how to include the voices of these new types of affected stakeholders.

With the aim of producing a Roadmap for responsible and ethical learning in robotics, REELER developed a comprehensive research methodology that blends ethnographic research with economic data on research and development, agent-based modelling, and experimental methods for collaborative learning.

Read more about REELER’s methodology in Annex 1 and Best Practice Research and Observation Guide.

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