Outreach activities

Two of REELER’s goals are a) to provide roboticists with tools for engaging with ethical issues related to robot design and implementation and b) to bring closer promixity between the robot community, society, and policy-makers.

To achieve these goals, we host two types of activities, Sociodrama, in connection with our Robot Expert Panel workshops, and Mini-Publics.

Robot Expert Panel (REP) workshops

REELER hosts Robot Expert Panel (REP) workshops, which offer invited roboticists a chance to gain new perspectives on their own R&D and robot technology from their colleagues. One of the explorative methods we work with at the REPs is Sociodrama, a perspective-taking exercise. The REPs also provide REELER the opportunity to share feedback from affected stakeholders and to unfold key REELER concepts, such as human-robot proximity, with the roboticists.

We held our first REP in June 2017 in Copenhagen, where we discussed distributed ethical responsibility and definitions and perceptions of what a robot is.

Sociodrama

By Raphael Lopez de Soto   

Sociodrama is a creative action method used with groups to explore the dynamics, communication, culture, and power relations between multiple roles within or between organisations. Within the context of the REELER project, Sociodrama is offered as a helpful way to facilitate the exploration of how sociality influences and shapes the work of the REELER research team, and how the work of roboticists and technology shapes sociality. One way in which this exploration happens is through engaging in a dialogue and interaction between different roles irrespective of their actual role on the project, for example; scientist, researcher, engineer, ethicist, robot, and user of technology. Taking a role offers the opportunity to deepen our appreciation and understanding of various roles and how they interact and influence each other and the wider organisation and society. Through this process, we aim to:

  1. To understand the working assumptions of robot designers, technology users, stakeholders and ethicists.
  2. To facilitate an enquiry into collaborative learning within the project and within the development of robotics.
  3. To engage in an active critical dialogue through a creative exploration of wider cultural and philosophical issues and themes such as those being examined in the research.

Mini-Publics

A mini-public is a democratic innovation that may improve opportunities for citizens to contribute to deliberation on a given topic. REELER invites various affected stakeholders (including robot users, members of the public, policymakers, and academics) to take part in a structured discussion of relevant themes, such as ethics of robotics and artificial intelligence. The aim of the mini-public is to elicit the stakeholders’ experiences with, and expectations of, robots. The research results may contribute additional topics of discussion for the Robot Expert Panel workshops.

REELER will host its first mini-public in Cambridge October 12th, 2017.