Programme (click on titles to download the presentations)


10.00-10.30 Arrival: tea, coffee, etc. 


10.30-11.00 Welcome and presentation of RoboTIPS project - Professor Marina Jirotka

Robotics is likely to be a key technology of the future, as automation keeps increasing, but a grounding principle for the RoboTIPS project was "what could possibly go wrong?". We believe that anticipatory governance - thinking about what the positive and negative outcomes of development might be - can enable societies, policymakers, researchers and industrialists to work together to envisage possible solutions. RoboTIPS is proud to have provided a key piece of this puzzle in the case of robot accidents - developing an interdisciplinary response to the need for safety, assurance, and comprehensibility in these novel technologies. I will be reflecting on how far we have come in the years since conceiving the RoboTIPS project, and introducing the themes and the work of the project 


11.00-11.15 Regulating the Future - Baroness Beeban Kidron (pre-recorded message)

Baroness Kidron celebrates the foresight of the Responsible Technology Institute and in her short address argues that while the RTI is ahead of the curve, regulation is way behind 


11.15-11.45    Keynote talk: Snails and Reasonable People - Dr. Jo-Ann Pattinson, University of Leeds

Jo-Ann Pattinson was practising litigation lawyer in the UK and lawyer/barrister in Australia before turning her attention and career to researching how the law and emerging technology impacts people and society. She will discuss; the legal concept of responsibility, how the common-law has helped to shape this concept to protect individuals and benefit society; how this may apply to social robots; and where it doesn't -do we have a plan B? 


11.45-12.15 Bringing the Ethical Black Box to life - Prof. Alan Winfield, UWE Bristol

In 2017 we proposed that all robots should be equipped with the robot equivalent of an aircraft flight data recorder, which we call an Ethical Black Box or EBB for short. We argued that an ethical black box will be critical to the process of discovering why and how a robot caused an accident or near-miss incident, and thus an essential part of establishing accountability and responsibility. Since then, we have, within the RoboTIPS project, implemented a number of EBBs. In this talk I will introduce the EBB and outline both our implementations and an EBB visualisation tool.


12.15-12.45    Reflections on robot accident investigations - Professor Carl Macrae, University of Nottingham

Robots, like all complex technical systems, have the potential to fail. How we respond to and learn from robot accidents is a defining question in the governance of autonomous and intelligence systems--and is already posing challenges for policymakers and safety investigation bodies across a range of sectors. In this session I will reflect on some of the foundational principles and practices of safety investigation, using the experience of the three RoboTIPS simulated accident investigations to illustrate the challenges, opportunities and potential futures for robot accident investigation. 


12.45-13.30 Buffet lunch


13.30-13.55  The Responsible Framework for Robotics Developers - Dr. Pericle Salvini, University of Oxford

The purpose of the framework is to assist roboticists in anticipating potential issues and to raise awareness of digital rights and obligations. In this presentation, I will provide a comprehensive overview of the framework in its current version, including preliminary findings from the ongoing user study. Finally, I will address future developments for the framework. 


13.55-14.15 Agile Governance - Dr. Keri Grieman, University of Oxford

This talk will discuss challenges and discussions for agile governance. While the tech sector increasingly outpaces law and regulation, challenges both unique to technology governance and which relate to governance more broadly are uncovered. This presentation discusses both the inherent challenges and those that emerging technologies present, touching on conversations and research from a variety of stakeholders in academia, governance, industry, and the general public.


14.15-14.40 Safe and Explainable Robotics - Professor Lars Kunze, UWE Bristol

Everyday robot object manipulation is challenging because of the underlying uncertainties of sensors, actuators, and the environment. In this talk, I will present a physics-informed causal inference framework which allows robots to probabilistically reason about their manipulation actions in partially observable environments. By embedding this kind of reasoning into the robots’ decision-making processes, we can make robot manipulation tasks safer, explainable, and, hence, more trustworthy. 


14.40-15.00 Coffee break and technical demonstration of the Explainer Interface 

We will showcase a robot that is able to perform everyday manipulation tasks. An 'explainer interface' will allow users to interact with the robot. The interface can be used to make predictions about the outcome of possible robot actions, to inquire the robot's decision making and / or to explain counterfactual scenarios 


15.00-15.45 Responsible Robotics: Key challenges and Future Directions. Panel discussion. Chair: Marina Jirotka (University of Oxford). Panellists: Alan Winfield (UWE, Bristol) and  Antonia Manoochehri (Lumenai)


15.45-16.00 Closing remarks and what's next? - Professor Marina Jirotka


16.00-16.10 Responsible Robotics for young people - Dominic Howles, Jazz Musician


16.10 Wines and nibbles with Dominic Howles’s Jazz Trio

An introduction for young people into the role that Responsible Innovation can play in the way that they interact with modern technology.