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Call for submissions for “Responsible Robotics” edition of the Journal of Ethics and Information Technology.

Call for Papers for a Special Issue with Ethics and Information Technology on “Responsible Robotics” 

Ethics and Information Technology is calling for the submission of papers to be considered for inclusion in a Special Issue on the responsible use of robotics to be edited by Aimee van Wynsberghe and Noel Sharkey.

This is the first journal issue devoted to the new interdisciplinary field of responsible robotics (RR). Robot ethics is fundamental to RR as are the analysis of societal risks and the sufficiency of current laws to regulate the use of robots in particular tasks. It is an attempt to align robot ethics with legal and societal issues by encouraging consideration from relevant fields of inquiry such as engineering/computer science/robotics, the humanities and the social sciences either on their own or in combination. The focus is on the most significant and pressing issues related to the design, development, implementation, policy and legislation pertaining to robots.

RR demands that the issues of responsibility for a given robot application be addressed at all stages of design (idea generation, prototyping, researching, development and implementation). It is vital for RR that the person responsible for the actions of the robot be made explicit at each of these developmental stages.. Thus, RR has the potential to become a roadmap for the future of robotics, one that incorporates the many layers of ethical, legal and societal issues. In short, the goal of RR is to proactively address the multidimensional nature of robotics using the concept of responsibility and to provide coherence in order to move ahead in an interdisciplinary manner.

In this special issue, Ethics and Information Technology invites papers that explore the concept of RR, its definition and its research impact from multiple perspectives and disciplines. Ethics and Information Technology wants to critically examine the scope and limitations that RR can provide to the disciplines and industry partners involved in the future of robots. They also encourage submissions that address issues in, but not restricted to, the following topics:

  •  what responsibilities and decisions should or should not be delegated to a robot?
  •  who is responsible when something goes wrong?
  •  what is a responsible roboticist?
  •  can there be such a thing as a responsible robot?
  •  what does or should RR policy look like for a particular application or more generally?
  •  what does responsible implementation look like for a particular application domain?
  •  what kind of research and design processes are considered responsible for a particular robot or class of robot?
  •  governance of robotics nationally and/or internationally.
  •  concrete applications and problems or solutions for RR
  •  RR case studies
  •  frameworks for evaluating RR for multiple stages of development from design to deployment 

    The editors at Ethics and Information Technology are seeking articles for a special issue in this area. Submissions will be double-blind refereed for relevance to the theme as well as academic rigor and originality. High quality articles not deemed to be sufficiently relevant to the special issue may be considered for publication in a subsequent non-themed issue.

    Closing date for submissions: December 12, 2016 

    To submit your paper, please use the online submission system, to be found at

    Please contact the managing editor, Noëmi Manders-Huits, for more information:

    Ethics and Information Technology (ETIN) is the major journal in the field of moral and political reflection on Information Technology. Its aim is to advance the dialogue between moral philosophy and the field of information technology in a broad sense, and to foster and promote reflection and analysis concerning the ethical, social and political questions associated with the adoption, use, and development of IT.

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