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Robophilosophy 2018 / TRANSOR 2018

International Research Conference Robophilosophy 2018 / TRANSOR 2018:
Vienna, Austria, February 14-17, 2018

Envisioning Robots in Society—Politics, Power, and Public Space             

Automation is the new key strategy for productivity gain—many countries are well on their way towards the production model of "industry 4.0" where software bot and robots will appear in all industrial sectors including service industries. The core driver of this disruption complex is robotics, producing ever more intelligent, ever more connectable artificial agents that function in ever more complex physical and social surroundings. This raises a host of complex questions for policy-makers, engineers, and researchers. Which socio-political, socio-cultural, economic, and ethical challenges will we humans be confronted with as robots will be included into more and more contexts of our everyday life? Are we bound to increase the precariat or will the ‘robot revolution’ open up new paths towards greater social justice? How should we envision robots in society?

The European Parliament has called for national ethical and legal councils to support decision making on the profound and comprehensive disruptions that automation will likely engender—"without stifling innovation" while keeping ethical and cultural values in view. This is a crucial signal to policy-makers that economic considerations alone must not prevail. It is also a signal for researchers, policy makers, engineers, and corporations to realize that they jointly share the burden of responsibility for shaping the course of the ‘robot revolution’.

The conference Robophilosophy 2018 – Envisioning Robots In Society: Politics, Power, And Public Space has three main aims; it shall:

  • present interdisciplinary Humanities research in and on social robotics that can inform policy making and political agendas, critically and constructively
  • investigate how academia and the private sector can work hand in hand to assess benefits and risks of future production formats and employment conditions.
  • explore how research in the Humanities, including art and art research, in the social and human sciences, can contribute to imagining and envisioning the potentials of future social interactions in the public space.

Plenary speakers (confirmed):

  • Joanna Bryson (Department of Computer Science, University of Bath, UK)
  • Hiroshi Ishiguro (Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, Osaka University, Japan)
  • Guy Standing (Basic Income Earth Network and School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK)
  • Catelijne Muller (Rapporteur on Artificial Intelligence, European Economic and Social Committee)
  • Robert Trappl (Head of the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Austria)
  • Simon Penny (Department of Art, University of California, Irvine)
  • Raja Chatila (IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in AI and Automated Systems, Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, France)
  • Josef Weidenholzer (Member of the European Parliament, domains of automation and digitization)
  • Oliver Bendel (Institute for Information Systems, FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland)
  • Juha Heikkilä (Head of the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence unit at the European Commission)

Robophilosophy 2018 – Envisioning Robots In Society: Politics, Power, And Public Space is the third event in the biennial Robophilosophy Conference Series which facilitates robophilosophy, a new area of interdisciplinary applied research in philosophy, robotics, and other disciplines in the Humanities, social and human sciences. The event with gather researchers, artists, representatives from politics, and actors of the private sector to create constructive dialogue and concrete collaborations on the joint task of envisioning robots in human societies.  




THANK YOU to all speakers and participants for creating rich content and productive discussions on one of the most pressing current issues!

Followed on twitter:  #robophil

See you at Robophilosophy 2020!


For all questions please contact the conference organizers at:

Please indicate in the header of your message the issue concerned: practical aspects (e.g., hotel reservations, travel, visa), registration, or the conference program.

Important dates

  • Sept 15, 2017: Deadline for submission of workshop proposals.
  • Oct. 31, 2017: Deadline for submission of abstracts for papers and posters
  • Oct. 15: Notification for accepted panels and workshops
  • Dec. 21, 2017: Notification for accepted papers and posters
  • Jan 12, 2018: Announcement of complete conference schedule 

Previous conference publications

What Social Robots Can and Should Do
Proceedings of Robophilosophy 2016 / TRANSOR 2016 (IOS Press).
Available here.

Sociable Robots and the Future of Social Relations
Proceedings of Robo-Philosophy 2014 (IOS Press)
Available here.

In preparation: 
Philosophy of, for, and by Social Robotics
ed. by J. Seibt, R. Hakli, and M. Nørskov, MIT Press

Sociality and Normativity for Robots
Philosophical Inquiries into Human-Robot Interactions (Springer)
This volume offers eleven philosophical investigations into our future relations with social robots--robots that are specially designed to engage and connect with human beings. - click here.

Social Robots
Boundaries, Potential, Challenges (Ashgate) -
This edited volume contributes to the field of social robotics by exploring its boundaries, potential, and Challenges from a philosophically informed standpoint. - click here.