Human Interactions and the Implications for Ethical and Responsible RAI (Robotics and AI)

Dr Emily C Collins

eee robotics lab university of manchester
This is a past event
Date and time
2 May 2024
6.30 pm
£15.00 (non-members)


What do we mean by trustworthy robotics? And why is that important?

The increasing deployment of advanced technology in our daily lives, such as embodied robotics like intelligent wearable robots for rehabilitation, continues to raise ever more complex questions about the ethical implications of their use, and what that means in practical terms.

One approach to answering these complex questions is to frame the debate around what we mean by Responsible Robotic and AI (RAI) use. In this talk, Dr Emily Collins will argue that to best understand the consequences of RAI’s short or long-term use, we need to place an understanding of human interactions as central to our understanding of it.

Who are the users? Who are the employers of those users? Who deploys the technology? And what do these mediating relationships have to do with who is ultimately responsible for what happens when we use technology in real-world, applied settings? Dr Collins argues that asking these practical questions get us closer to understanding what we mean by ethical RAI.

And what about trustworthiness? In the field of Human-Robot Interaction there is increasing interest in considering, measuring, and implementing subjective trust, and objective trustworthy factors, as it pertains to responsible RAI. You might subjectively decide to trust a robot, but what specific factors about that particular robot make it trustworthy? Is a robot’s trustworthiness contingent on the user’s relationship with, and opinion of, the individual or organisation deploying the robot?

Dr Collins will discuss examples highlighting the need for trustworthy RAI in a variety of disparate environments, and a new approach to studying robotics will be presented. How can there be one approach when assessing trustworthy, responsible, transparent and ethical RAI when a human’s relationship with the person, employer, or government – who has given them RAI to work with – is not consistent?

dr emily collins

Dr Emily C Collins

Dr Emily C Collins is an interdisciplinary Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) Research Scientist and a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist. She has expertise in biomimetic, brain-based, therapeutic, and industrial nuclear robotics; HRI methodology development; and ethical and theoretical consideration of Robotics and AI (RAI).

Emily’s key research themes include trustworthiness and verification; responsibility and accountability; and the centrality of human psychology and socio-political factors to effective RAI deployment in the real world. She is currently a Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Fellow in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Manchester.

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