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Call for Papers and Workshops

3rd Call for Conference Papers
International Research Conference

Culturally Sustainable Social Robtics

August 18-21, 2020
Aarhus University, Denmark

Depending on the development of the COVID-19 pandemic the conference may be carried out as an E-conference. More information on the mode in which RP2020 will be conducted will follow by the end of May (at latest), please consult the conference webpage and plan your travel arrangements accordingly.

Submission Deadline MAY 1


Once we admit so-called ‘social robots’ into the social practices of our everyday lives and lifeworlds, we create complex, and possibly irreversible, interventions in the physical and semantic spaces of human culture and sociality. The long-term socio-cultural consequences of these interventions are currently impossible to gauge. While the use of ‘social’ robots in service functions, i.e. within the care-, education-, and entertainment sector, promises great economic gain, it also potentially infringes upon ethical, epistemic, existential, and other socio-cultural core values.

After a decade of interdisciplinary research into social robotics and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) we still lack clear understanding and concrete regulative directives for how to ensure that social robotics will contribute to a community’s resources for human well-being—to the practices in which members of a community experience justice, dignity, autonomy, privacy, security, authenticity, knowledge, freedom, beauty, friendship, sensitivity, empathy, compassion, creativity, and other socio-cultural core values, as these may be shared, or vary, across cultures.

As governments of the highly developed countries worldwide have begun to implement “industry 4.0” and prepare to enter the “automation age” (McKinsey), central questions concerning the larger cultural significance of social robotics remain unclear and are more urgent than ever:

  • How can we develop social robotics applications that are culturally sustainable? That is: how can we create cultural dynamics with or through social robots that will not impact our value landscape negatively?
  • What is the concrete promise of recently proposed methods, strategies, and RD&D paradigms such as "value-sensitive design”, “design for values,”  “ethically aligned design,” or “Integrative Social Robotics” for guiding us towards culturally sustainable social robotics?
  • If cultural sustainability is relative to a community, what can we expect in a global robot market?
  • Could we design human-robot interactions in ways that will positively cultivate the values we, or people anywhere, care about? Is “robot nudging” ethically permissible?
  • What are the greatest challenges for “responsible social robotics” or “culturally sustainable social robotics”?
  • Are there paradigmatic examples for culturally sustainable applications of social robotics, and how can they guide us?

Robophilosophy 2020 will explore these and related questions, with its usual broad scope, covering conceptual, empirical, and constructions (synthetic) research in philosophy, HRI, and robotics, and embracing both theoretical and practical angles. Detailed investigations with clear terminology will be preferred; submissions are expected to work from the state of the art. 

Robophilosophy 2020 is the fourth event in the biennial Robophilosophy Conference Series (www.robo-philosophy.org) which was introduced with the aim of promoting interdisciplinary Humanities research in and on social robotics. Robophilosophy is foremost “philosophy of, for, and by social robotics”, but it is a new area of interdisciplinary and often experimental research, thus topically relevant research submissions from any discipline are welcome.

The conference will feature the theatre performance ‘Eliza 2.0’, art installations, and  special outreach sessions to communicate to policy makers and the public at large the core message of conference series: only if Humanities researchers join forces with the research community and practitioners in social robotics and HRI can we create futures worth living.

Plenaries (confirmed, alphabetical order)


The conference will feature about 80-100 talks in plenaries, special workshops, and parallel sessions of reviewed conferences papers.­­


Conference Papers

Submission of conference papers: May 1, 2020
Notification of accepted conference papers: June 1, 2020
Submission of final papers: Oct 1, 2020


Submission of workshop descriptions: Closed