Professor Marina Jirotka secures EPSRC Established Career Fellowship in Digital Economy

Professor Marina Jirotka, Oxford University’s Professor of Human-Centred Computing, has secured an EPSRC five-year Established Career Fellowship to investigate the development of responsible robots within the context of Responsible Innovation (RI).

The new project, entitled RoboTIPS: Developing Responsible Robots for the Digital Economy, will look at issues of Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security (TIPS) through the lens of current work in the field of robotics. In collaboration with Professor Alan Winfield, Professor of Robot Ethics at the University of the West of England, Professor Jirotka will be seeking to develop pathways through which the relationships between social robots and values of trust, transparency, privacy and security are explored and can be embedded into the design and processes of technological governance. There is no complete and clearly successful example of an implementation of RI into ICT design, so this fellowship offers an appropriate way for attempting to demonstrate this approach, providing a step change in how trust is built into digital economy technologies. The project will be undertaken with industrial collaborators Designability, Reach Robotics, Open Bionics and Consequential Robotics. Other partners include Baroness Beeban Kidron and her 5Rights Foundation.

Professor Jirotka’s work on RI (Responsible Innovation) led to the creation of the ORBIT project in 2017, a joint venture between De Montfort and Oxford Universities. Professor Jirotka is Co-Investigator of the project alongside Professor Bernd Stahl of DMU. ORBIT draws on a framework developed under a previous EPSRC-funded project to train researchers and developers in the principles of RI. This approach uses reflexivity and anticipatory governance, considering outcomes and possible ethical issues at the earliest stage of work to try and ensure that safety and governance are built in from the ground up. The Framework for RI in the UK is supported by the UK Research Councils.


Notes to editors

ORBIT is the Observatory for Responsible Research and Innovation in ICT. Led by Oxford and De Montfort Universities and funded in the launch phase by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), ORBIT provides policy advice, training on responsible research and innovation (RRI), consultancy, project assessment, support services, and an online community for ICT researchers.
Marina Jirotka is the Professor of Human-Centred Computing at the University of Oxford. She is chiefly concerned with bringing a richer comprehension of socially organised work practice into the process of engineering technological systems with a focus on supporting everyday work and interaction.
Alan Winfield is the Professor of Robot Ethics at the University of the West of England. His work at UWE spans Research and Public Engagement. He conducts research in Cognitive Robotics within the Bristol Robotics Lab and is a member of the Science Communication Unit. He also undertakes public engagement​ work centred upon robotics. Robot ethics is a significant focus of his current work, including the development of new standards.

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