Research project

RESPONSIBLE ROBOTICS (RR-AI)
Tracing ethical and social aspects of AI-based transformations in healthcare work and knowledge environments

The team of the project “Responsible Robotics” seeks to study the social, ethical and legal dimensions of two novel AI-based technologies, develop a practical toolbox for future interdisciplinary AI innovation, and test these tools and recommendations experimentally through interdisciplinary co-creation and work-place integration of embodied AI applications.

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Project description

The integration of embodied Artificial Intelligence (AI) into healthcare and society is expected to deliver major benefits in future decades. However, innovations such as AI operating robots, AI prosthetics, care- or at some point even micro- and nanorobots will come with a number of ethical, social, political and legal challenges, among them ground-breaking shifts in the work cultures and expertise of medical professionals. These challenges arising from novel divisions of labour between humans and machines need to be addressed proactively if embodied AI is to be implemented into medicine and society successfully and responsibly. While overarching principles such as those by the European High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, or standards such as the ISO for personal care robots have been developed, concrete and fine-grained frameworks for a responsible integration of embodied AI products into healthcare practices and work cultures are still largely missing. There are also no best practice models available for the interdisciplinary development of human-machine applications in biomedicine that take ethical, social and regulatory issues into account.

The joint research project Responsible Robotics therefore seeks to:

  1. empirically study the social and ethical and legal dimensions of two novel AI-based technologies – a service robot named GARMI, and a smart arm exoprosthesis – as they are being developed and implemented in healthcare practice;
  2. develop a practical toolbox for future interdisciplinary AI innovation, as well as concrete standards and recommendations for responsible integration of embodied AI into healthcare work practice and training;
  3. experimentally test these tools and recommendations through interdisciplinary co-creation and work-place integration of embodied AI applications.

The project thus takes an innovative “embedded” approach, whereby ethical, social, legal and political analyses constitute integral elements of an AI product design process as well as its work place integration. Project results will be discussed with stakeholders, pilot-tested and disseminated widely.

Project team

FRSA, Chair of Ethics in Medicine and Health Technologies, Director of the Institute for History and Ethics of Medicine
Technical University of Munich (TUM)

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Chair of Robotics Science and Systems Intelligence, Director Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MSRM)
Technical University of Munich (TUM)

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Professor of Science & Technology Policy
Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS) | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

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Professor of Public Law and European Economic Law
University of Graz

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Research assistant at the Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MSRM)
Technical University of Munich (TUM)

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Senior Research Associate in the Institute for History and Ethics of Medicine
Technical University of Munich (TUM)

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Doctoral researcher at the Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS)
Technical University of Munich (TUM)

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Doctoral researcher at the Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS)
Technical University of Munich (TUM)

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Responsible Robotics: What could possibly go wrong?

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