Regulatory Challenges of Robotics: Some Guidelines for Addressing Legal and Ethical Issues

Law, Innovation and Technology, Pages 1-44 | Received 01 Mar 2017, Accepted 07 Mar 2017, Published online: 23 Mar 2017, DOI: 10.1080/17579961.2017.1304921

45 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2017 Last revised: 9 Oct 2018

See all articles by Ronald E. Leenes

Ronald E. Leenes

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society; Tilburg Law School; Tilburg University

Erica Palmerini

Independent

Bert-Jaap Koops

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)

Andrea Bertolini

S. Anna School of Advanced Studies; University of Pisa - Facolta' di Economia

Pericle Salvini

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa

Federica Lucivero

University of London - Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine (SSHM)

Date Written: March 23, 2017

Abstract

Robots are slowly, but certainly, entering people’s professional and private lives. They require the attention of regulators due to the challenges they present to existing legal frameworks and the new legal and ethical questions they raise. This paper discusses four major regulatory dilemmas in the field of robotics: how to keep up with technological advances; how to strike a balance between stimulating innovation and the protection of fundamental rights and values; whether to affirm prevalent social norms or nudge social norms in a different direction; and, how to balance effectiveness versus legitimacy in techno-regulation. The four dilemmas are each treated in the context of a particular modality of regulation: law, market, social norms, and technology as a regulatory tool; and for each, we focus on particular topics – such as liability, privacy, and autonomy – that often feature as the major issues requiring regulatory attention. The paper then highlights the role and potential of the European framework of rights and values, responsible research and innovation, smart regulation and soft law as means of dealing with the dilemmas.

Keywords: Robotics, regulation, regulatory dilemmas, technology regulation, smart regulation, responsible innovation, soft law

JEL Classification: K10, K12, K13, K23, L50

Suggested Citation

Leenes, Ronald E. and Palmerini, Erica and Koops, Bert-Jaap and Bertolini, Andrea and Salvini, Pericle and Lucivero, Federica, Regulatory Challenges of Robotics: Some Guidelines for Addressing Legal and Ethical Issues (March 23, 2017). Law, Innovation and Technology, Pages 1-44 | Received 01 Mar 2017, Accepted 07 Mar 2017, Published online: 23 Mar 2017, DOI: 10.1080/17579961.2017.1304921. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2941975

Ronald E. Leenes (Contact Author)

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society

NL-5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands

Erica Palmerini

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Bert-Jaap Koops

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

Andrea Bertolini

S. Anna School of Advanced Studies ( email )

Pisa
Italy

University of Pisa - Facolta' di Economia ( email )

I-56126 Pisa
Italy

Pericle Salvini

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa ( email )

Biblioteca Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
Piazza Martiri della Liberta, n. 33
Pisa, 56127
Italy

Federica Lucivero

University of London - Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine (SSHM) ( email )

Room D11, East Wing
Strand Campus
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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