eLaw, the Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden University, is looking for a 5-year postdoctoral researcher with expertise in law, robots, artificial intelligence (AI), and data science.
There is an increasing gap between the policy cycle's speed and technological change. This gap is noticeable in healthcare robotics, where policies are scattered and cover the issues that robots entail unevenly. This disconnect results in robot developers failing to integrate essential legal considerations into their designs, user safety not always ensured, and the development of systems that may cause harm to patients. While other sectors enjoy evidence-based policies that translate policy goals into practical guidance, these frameworks have yet to emerge for robotic technology.
The ERC project SAFE & SOUND (https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/research/research-projects/law/safe--sound-towards-evidence-based-policies-for-safe-and-sound-robots
) works out a mechanism capable of matching emerging technology to regulation and vice versa by heralding a practical and dynamic route to identify regulatory gaps for specific care robot technologies through inclusive and collaborative mechanisms, test these gaps in experimental settings featuring future-facing mitigation strategies, and reuse the data generated for robot evidence-based policies. The ground-breaking idea behind SAFE&SOUND is to use robot simulators to help improve specific robots and their regulation. By using such knowledge, SAFE&SOUND has the potential to set the policy debate around robot and AI technologies on a better and more grounded footing. SAFE&SOUND advances research on the use of science for robot policy
and opens avenues toward an evidence-based regulatory model for robots in the EU that guides rather than catches up with robot (r)evolution and is more attuned to societal needs and fundamental rights.
The research objectives of SAFE&SOUND are:
- RO1: Identify regulatory gaps for personal care robots
- RO2: Test uncovered legal challenges for personal care robots
- RO3: Leverage robot testing zones data to support evidence-based policy change
- RO4: Investigate science for robot policy conception, effectiveness and sustainability
As a postdoctoral researcher at eLaw, you will advance the knowledge of science for robot policy. In concrete, you will help conduct the interviews planned with different stakeholders in RO1 and analyze gray information, help process data in RO2 in the testing zones created by the Eurobench project (https://neuralrehabilitation.org/projects/EUROBENCH/)
, build a mechanism to translate raw data into policy-relevant data in RO3, and help close the project in RO4. In particular, we are interested in understanding how we can effectively generate and leverage data for robot policy change. We also want to know how these data could promote more inclusive robotics designs and how patient organizations could benefit from them.
Within this narrative, you will contribute to several ongoing activities, projects, and initiatives in our group at Leiden University, including:
- Contribute to 5-year project SAFE & SOUND: Towards Evidence-based Policies for Safe and Sound Robots funded by the European Union's Horizon-ERC program;
- Contribute to and be partly responsible for the working group Robotics and Autonomous Systems (https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/law/institute-for-the-interdisciplinary-study-of-the-law/elaw/research/working-groups-at-elaw#working-group-robotics-and-autonomous-systems) at eLaw to create a community at Leiden Un