Call: Robophilosophy 2018 – Envisioning Robots in Society: Politics, Power, and Public Space

Call for Papers

International Research Conference
Envisioning Robots in Society – Politics, Power, and Public Space
Robophilosophy 2018 / TRANSOR 2018
February 14-17, 2018
University of Vienna, Austria

Deadline for submission of abstracts for papers and posters: Oct. 31, 2017
Deadline for submission of workshop and panel proposals: Sept. 15, 2017


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 an important signal to experts on cultural conditions and dynamics, i.e., researchers in philosophy and other Humanities, in the human and social sciences.

This is the time 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 philosophical work and 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.

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 with the aim of creating constructive dialogue and concrete collaborations on the joint task of envisioning robots in human societies.


The conference will feature about 100 talks in plenaries, special panels and workshops, and parallel sessions of reviewed research papers.


  • Joanna Bryson (Department of Computer Science, University of Bath, UK)
  • Alan Winfield (FET – Engineering, Design and Mathematics, University of the West of England, UK)
  • 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, Vienna, Austria)

INVITED PANELS AND EVENTS (tentative titles)

Working with and alongside robots: Forms and Modes of collaboration
Coordinator: Research Network for Transdisciplinary Studies in Social Robotics – TRANSOR, Aarhus University, Denmark

Social Cognition and Robotic Design
Coordinator: Research Group for Integrative Social Robotics – INSOR, Aarhus University, Denmark

Moral status of robots
Coordinator: David Gunkel, Northern Illinois University, USA

Art, performance, and robotics
Coordinator: Oliver Schürer, TU Vienna, Austria

Responsible robotics
Coordinator: Foundation for Responsible Robotics – FRR (Noel Sharkey, University of Sheffield, UK and Aimee van Wynsberghe, University of Twente)

Transdisciplinary approaches
Coordinator: Michaela Pfadenhauer and Glenda Hannibal, University of Vienna, Austria Artificial phronesis Coordinator: Charles Ess, University of Oslo, Norway; with Shannon Vallor, Anne Gerdes, John Sullins III


We invite extended abstracts with references (min. 1000 words, max. 2000 words, excluding references) for research papers on the following themes:

  • Socio-political challenges of robotization, e.g., changes in political legimitation, expectable polarizations, etc.
  • Changes in power distributions, e.g., across the political, economic, and financial sector
  • Changes in public spaces due to social robotics, e.g., changes in social interaction patterns due to design and functionalities of robots
  • Socio-cultural and socio-political challenges due to massive job loss, e.g., increase of the precariat, new conceptions of work and social recognition
  • Changes in working conditions and employment formats, e.g,  types of human-robot ensembles
  • Robots and ethics, e.g. with focus on new formats of “responsible robotics” as R&D paradigm, or new responsibility attributions when robots attain the status of  “electronic persons responsible for making good any damage they may cause” (cf. Resolution 20170210IPR61808 of the European Parliament).
  • Re-education and new educations to cope with changes in the workplace, including educational technology
  • Methods of policy making, e.g., the role of the Humanities for research-based policy proposals, necessary changes in the self-conception and research methods of the Humanities
  • Children and robots, robots and the elderly, with focus on socio-cultural values
  • Intercultural philosophy of robotics
  • Conceptual tools for academia-policy dialogue and interdisciplinary research, e.g., analytical and hermeneutic categories from social ontology, epistemology, metaphysics, or ethics redefined for concrete application.

Deadline: October 31, for submission details see


We invite abstracts for workshops and panels (1000-3000 words, describing topic, format, and speakers). Workshops will take 2-hour to 4-hour slots, depending on the proposal and on availability of slots in the final program. Panels will take two-hour slots and, like the other submitted papers, should directly address the workshop theme. The format for workshops is free. Deadline: September 15, for submission details see

Call for Posters and Art installations/performances

We invite abstracts (1000 words) for posters and for art installations or performances. Deadline: October 31, for submission details see


Sept. 15, 2017: Deadline for submission of workshop and panel proposals
Oct. 15, 2017: Notification on decisions: workshop and panel proposals
Oct. 31, 2017: Deadline for submission of abstracts for papers and posters
Dec. 15, 2017: Notification for accepted papers and posters
Jan 5, 2018: Announcement of complete conference schedule


Main Organizers of Robophilosophy 2018:

Mark Coeckelbergh, Janina Loh, Michael Funk, and Agnes Buchberger
Chair of Philosophy of Media and Technology, University of Vienna (see also

Organizers of the Robophilosophy Conference Series and Co-Organizers RP2018:

Johanna Seibt and Marco Nørskov
Research Unit for Robophilosophy ( and Research Network TRANSOR (

Funding is provided by the Carlsberg Foundation, the Faculty of Philosophy and Education, University of Vienna; and the Vienna Convention Bureau.

This entry was posted in Calls. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


  • Find Researchers

    Use the links below to find researchers listed alphabetically by the first letter of their last name.

    A | B | C | D | E | F| G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z