Eduard Fosch Villaronga

Eduard Fosch Villaronga
Leiden University | LEI · eLaw Centre for Law and Digital Technologies

Ph.D., M.A., LL.M., LL.B.
Law, Robot, and AI Technologies

About

134
Publications
49,132
Reads
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1,089
Citations
Citations since 2016
130 Research Items
1086 Citations
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Introduction
Dr. Fosch-Villaronga PhD LLM MA is Assistant Professor and Director of Research at the eLaw Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden University (NL) where he investigates legal and regulatory aspects of robot and AI technologies.
Additional affiliations
January 2019 - May 2021
Leiden University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (134)
Technical Report
Full-text available
In this position paper, we have used Alan Cooper’s persona technique to illustrate the utility of audio- and video-based AAL technologies. Therefore, two primary examples of potential audio- and video-based AAL users, Anna and Irakli, serve as reference points for describing salient ethical, legal and social challenges related to use of AAL. These...
Article
Full-text available
In healthcare, gender and sex considerations are crucial because they affect individuals' health and disease differences. Yet, most algorithms deployed in the healthcare context do not consider these aspects and do not account for bias detection. Missing these dimensions in algorithms used in medicine is a huge point of concern, as neglecting these...
Book
Full-text available
Technology often works silently as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it has the power to amplify inequality, reinforce existing stereotypes, and further push people into categories that do not represent them. On the other, its design may help devise strategies and counternarratives that redirect ongoing discourses towards a fairer and more inc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Social robots interact with human beings and are used for a variety of therapeutic purposes, for example in interaction with children with neurodevelopmental disorders. A key ethical issue related to the application of social robots in these contexts is the idea of normativity, involved in both the design of social robots, i.e., the use of such rob...
Book
This book provides an in-depth overview of what is currently happening in the field of Law and Artificial Intelligence (AI). From deep fakes and disinformation to killer robots, surgical robots, and AI lawmaking, the many and varied contributors to this volume discuss how AI could and should be regulated in the areas of public law, including consti...
Article
Full-text available
From exoskeletons to lightweight robotic suits, wearable robots are changing dynamically and rapidly, challenging the timeliness of laws and regulatory standards that were not prepared for robots that would help wheelchair users walk again. In this context, equipping regulators with technical knowledge on technologies could solve information asymme...
Article
Full-text available
Recent advancements in socially assistive robotics (SAR) have shown a significant potential of using social robotics to achieve increasing cognitive and affective outcomes in education. However, the deployments of SAR technologies also bring ethical challenges in tandem, to the fore, especially in under-resourced contexts. While previous research h...
Chapter
The relationship between robots and policy development is complex. Technology and regulation evolve, but not always simultaneously or in the same direction. At the same time, robot developers struggle to find suitable safeguards in existing norms applicable to them. This often results in disconnections between both worlds. New robots and applicatio...
Chapter
Despite the growing body of literature highlighting the legal and ethical questions robots raise, robot developers struggle to incorporate other aspects than mere physical safety into robot design to make them comprehensively safe. The chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries established years ago use evidence-based frameworks that ensure the...
Chapter
This chapter explores the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for automated decision-making (ADM) stipulated under Article 22. In doing so, this chapter briefly investigates automated decision-making systems, including the concept of ADM, in order to reveal which forms of ADM are covered by Article 22 of the GDPR. After a short c...
Chapter
Consent has been enshrined in data protection law since its inception and is today an important lawful ground under the GDPR for the processing of personal data by the private sector. Given the main objectives of consent, namely user empowerment, informational self-determination, and autonomy, this specific legal basis seems to be very user-oriente...
Article
Full-text available
Innovation in healthcare promises unparalleled potential in optimizing the production, distribution, and use of the health workforce and infrastructure, allocating system resources more efficiently, and streamline care pathways and supply chains. A recent innovation contributing to this is robot-assisted surgeries (RAS). RAS causes less damage to t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Discrimination and bias are pressing issues of many AI and robotics applications. These outcomes may derive from limited datasets that do not fully represent society as a whole or from the AI scientific community's western-male configuration bias. Although being a pressing issue, understanding how robotic systems can replicate and amplify inequalit...
Technical Report
This publication is based upon work from COST Action GoodBrother – Network on Privacy-Aware Audioand Video-Based Applications for Active and Assisted Living, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).
Chapter
Given the complexity of the inner working of algorithms and the ulterior effects these systems may have on society, the European Union has begun an ‘Algorithmic Awareness-Building’ exercise to inform policy-making on algorithmic decisions’ challenges and opportunities. We contribute to this effort by identifying how art can have a strong voice in p...
Chapter
The rapid emergence of increasingly autonomous AI systems within corporate governance and decision-making is unprecedented. AI-driven boardrooms bring about legal challenges within the field of corporate law, mainly due to the expanding autonomy and capabilities AI has to support corporate decisions. Recurrent legal questions revolve around the att...
Chapter
This chapter provides an introduction to this book (Law and Artificial Intelligence: Regulating AI and Applying it in Legal Practice) and an overview of all the chapters. The book deals with the intersection of law and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Law and AI interact in two different ways, which are both covered in this book: law can regulate AI a...
Chapter
Discrimination and bias are inherent problems of many AI applications, as seen in, for instance, face recognition systems not recognizing dark-skinned women and content moderator tools silencing drag queens online. These outcomes may derive from limited datasets that do not fully represent society as a whole or from the AI scientific community's we...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Ambient assisted living (AAL) technologies are increasingly presented and sold as essential smart additions to daily life and home environments that will radically transform the healthcare and wellness markets of the future. An ethical approach and a thorough understanding of all ethics in surveillance/monitoring architectures are therefore pressin...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Ambient assisted living (AAL) technologies are increasingly presented and sold as essential smart additions to daily life and home environments that will radically transform the healthcare and wellness markets of the future. An ethical approach and a thorough understanding of all ethics in surveillance/monitoring architectures are therefore pressin...
Research
Full-text available
Ambient assisted living (AAL) technologies are increasingly presented and sold as essential smart additions to daily life and home environments that will radically transform the healthcare and wellness markets of the future. An ethical approach and a thorough understanding of all ethics in surveillance/monitoring architectures are therefore pressin...
Article
Full-text available
Algorithmic profiling has become increasingly prevalent in many social fields and practices, including finance, marketing, law, cultural consumption and production, and social engagement. Although researchers have begun to investigate algorithmic profiling from various perspectives, socio-technical studies of algorithmic profiling that consider use...
Preprint
When people embody a virtual or a robotic avatar, their sense of self extends to the body of that avatar. We argue that, as a consequence, if the avatar gets harmed, the person embodied in that avatar suffers the harm in the first person. Potential scenarios involving physical or psychological harm caused to avatars gives rise to legal, moral, and...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing attention given to the concept of trustworthiness for artificial intelligence and robotics. However, trust is highly context-dependent, varies among cultures, and requires reflection on others' trustworthiness, appraising whether there is enough evidence to conclude that these agents deserve to be trusted. Moreover, little resea...
Article
Full-text available
Policymakers need to start considering the impact smart connected toys (SCTs) have on children. Equipped with sensors, data processing capacities, and connectivity, SCTs targeting children increasingly penetrate pervasively personal environments. The network of SCTs forms the Internet of Toys (IoToys) and often increases children's engagement and p...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is an increasing gap between the policy cycle's speed and that of technological and social change. This gap is becoming broader and more prominent in robotics, i.e., movable machines that perform tasks either automatically or with a degree of autonomy, since current legislation was unprepared for machine learning and autonomous agents and, as...
Preprint
Full-text available
Robotics and AI are dynamically and rapidly evolving, introducing the problem of regulatory disconnection, where either "the covering descriptions employed by the regulation no longer correspond to the technology" or "the technology and its applications raise doubts as to the value compact that underlies the regulatory scheme." Lack of information...
Article
Full-text available
Digital technologies have profound effects on all areas of modern life, including the workplace. Certain forms of digitalisation entail simply exchanging digital files for paper, while more com-plex instances involve machines performing a wide variety of tasks on behalf of humans. While some are wary of the displacement of humans that occurs when,...
Article
Full-text available
Ethical, legal and societal implications (ELSI) in the development of wearable robots (WRs) are currently not explicitly addressed in most guidelines for WR developers. Previous work has identified ELSI related to WRs, e.g., impacts on body and identity, ableism, data protection, control and responsibilities, but translation of these concerns into...
Article
Full-text available
Policymakers need to consider the impacts that robots and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have on humans beyond physical safety. Traditionally, the definition of safety has been interpreted to exclusively apply to risks that have a physical impact on persons' safety, such as, among others, mechanical or chemical risks. However, the curren...
Article
Full-text available
This paper addresses the interplay between robots, cybersecurity, and safety from a European legal perspective, a topic under-explored by current technical and legal literature. The legal framework, together with technical standards, is a necessary parameter for the production and deployment of robots. However, European law does not regulate robots...
Preprint
Full-text available
Although healthcare is a remarkably sensitive domain of application, and systems that exert direct control over the world can cause harm in a way that humans cannot necessarily correct or oversee, it is still unclear whether and how healthcare robots are currently regulated or should be regulated. Existing regulations are primarily unprepared to pr...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we look at the home as an arena for care by exploring how care robots and technological care-systems can become part of older adults’ lives. We investigate the domestication of robot technology in the context of what in Scandinavia is called “welfare technology” (relating to the terms “gerontechnology” and “Active Assisted Living,”)...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) offers previously unimaginable possibilities, solving problems faster and more creatively than before, representing and inviting hope and change, but also fear and resistance. Unfortunately, while the pace of technology development and application dramatically accelerates, the understanding of its implications does not...
Article
Full-text available
Social media platforms employ inferential analytics methods to guess user preferences and may include sensitive attributes such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and political opinions. These methods are often opaque, but they can have significant effects such as predicting behaviors for marketing purposes, influencing behavior for profit, servi...
Article
Full-text available
Online and social media platforms employ automated recognition methods to presume user preferences, sensitive attributes such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and opinions. These opaque methods can predict behaviors for marketing purposes and influence behavior for profit, serving attention economics but also reinforcing existing biases such as...
Article
Full-text available
This research focuses on how the complex interplay between increasingly autonomous surgical robots, medical practitioners and support staff will soon complicate the understanding of how to allocate responsibility if something goes wrong. For the automotive industry, the Society of Automotive Engineers established different automation levels to cl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Although every human should enjoy physical touch, intimacy, and sexual pleasure, persons with disabilities are often not in the position to fully experience the joys of life in the same manner as abled people. The United Nations stated in 1993 that persons with disabilities should enjoy family life and personal integrity and should not be denied th...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) offers previously unimaginable possibilities, solving problems faster and more creatively than before, representing and inviting hope and change, but also fear and resistance. Unfortunately, while the pace of technology development and application dramatically accelerates, the understanding of its implications does not...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) offers previously unimaginable possibilities, solving problems faster and more creatively than before, representing and inviting hope and change, but also fear and resistance. Unfortunately, while the pace of technology development and application dramatically accelerates, the understanding of its implications does not...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) offers previously unimaginable possibilities, solving problems faster and more creatively than before, representing and inviting hope and change, but also fear and resistance. Unfortunately, while the pace of technology development and application dramatically accelerates, the understanding of its implications does not...
Chapter
Full-text available
Embodied and non-embodied applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are increasingly used in the healthcare domain. Their development, adoption and implementation promises safer, more personalised and more efficient care, oftentimes portrayed as the only available solution for individuals to live a ‘dignified’ life. However, these technologies a...
Article
Full-text available
Wearable robots and exoskeletons are relatively new technologies designed for assisting and augmenting human motor functions. Due to their different possible design applications and their intimate connection to the human body, they come with specific ethical, legal, and social issues (ELS), which have not been much explored in the recent ELS litera...
Article
Full-text available
The global Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in social and economic disruption unprecedented in the modern era. Many countries have introduced severe measures to contain the virus, including travel restrictions, public event bans, non-essential business closures, and remote work policies. While digital technologies help governments and organizations t...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we develop the concept of Transparency by Design that serves as practical guidance in helping promote the beneficial functions of transparency while mitigating its challenges in automated-decision making (ADM) environments. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and the ability of AI systems to make automated and self-learne...
Chapter
Full-text available
The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in healthcare promises safer, more efficient, and more personalised care. Typical applications of such systems include personalised diagnosis, early disease detection, hospitalisation risk prediction, and drug discovery. These technologies process vast amounts of data, can learn from expe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With every digital interaction, individuals are increasingly subject to algorithmic profiling, understood as the systematic and purposeful recording and classification of data related to individuals. Large Internet firms, such as Facebook and Google/Alphabet, as well as third-party data brokers collect and combine detailed personal data to create s...
Article
Full-text available
The adoption of robot technology is accelerating in healthcare settings. Care robots can support and extend the work of caregivers in assisting patients, elderly or children. Typical examples of such systems are ‘cognitive therapeutic robots,’ ‘physical rehabilitation robots,’ ‘assistive and lifting robots.’ Although these robots might reduce the w...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book chapter explores how experiences of isolation and loneliness in remote areas can be mitigated through social robots' emotional care. We first discuss the concept of being social and how that notion is changing with rapid digitalization. The research for this chapter zooms in the context of remote regions, characterized by vast geographica...
Article
Full-text available
Pediatric access to exoskeletons lags far behind that of adults. In this article, we promote inclusiveness in exoskeleton robotics by identifying and addressing challenges and barriers to pediatric access to this potentially life-changing technology. We first present available exoskeleton solutions for upper and lower limbs and note the variability...
Article
Full-text available
Until now, each profession has developed their professional codes of conduct independently. However, the use of robots and artificial intelligence is blurring professional delineations: aged care nurses work with lifting robots, tablet computers, and intelligent diagnostic systems, and health information system designers work with clinical teams. W...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we investigate the relation between gender and exoskeleton development through the lens of intersectionality theory. Exoskeleton users come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and genders. However, it is often the case that wearable robot engineers do not develop such devices primarily on the premise that the product should fit as...
Article
Full-text available
Social robots, those that exhibit personality and communicate with us using high-level dialogue and natural cues, will soon be part of our daily lives. In this paper, we gather expert opinions from different international workshops exploring ethical, legal, and social (ELS) concerns associated with social robots. In contrast to literature that look...
Article
Full-text available
Healthcare robots enable practices that seemed far-fetched in the past. Robots might be the solution to bridge the loneliness that the elderly often experience; they may help wheelchair users walk again, or may help navigate the blind. European Institutions, however, acknowledge that human contact is an essential aspect of personal care and that th...
Article
Full-text available
The extension of the sense of self to the avatar during experiences of avatar embodiment requires thorough ethical and legal consideration, especially in light of potential scenarios involving physical or psychological harm caused to, or by, embodied avatars. We provide researchers and developers working in the field of virtual and robot embodiment...
Article
Full-text available
Robots and AI are no longer confined to industry but can be found in healthcare, education and retail environments. However, the insertion of robots into society raises ethical, legal and societal concerns. Discrimination and bias are known to be inherent problems of many AI applications and we wonder what this means for the LGBTQ+ community and wh...
Article
Full-text available
The creation and deployment of sex robots are accelerating. Sex robots are service robots that perform actions contributing directly towards improvement in the satisfaction of the sexual needs of a user. In this paper, we explore the potential use of these robots for elder and disabled care purposes,which is currently underexplored. Indeed, althoug...
Chapter
Full-text available
Current legislation may apply to new developments. Even so, these developments may raise new challenges that call into question the applicability of this legislation. This paper explains what happens at this moment for new robot technologies. We argue that there is no formal communication process between robot developers and regulators from which p...
Chapter
This article addresses the responsibility aspects of cloud robotics ecosystems. We focus mainly on the attribution of responsibility and liability in complex and dynamic cloud robotics ecosystems. We consider the controversial concept of ‘personhood’ for robot technology, identify different sources of liability for robots using cloud services, and...
Chapter
Full-text available
The COST Action on Wearable Robots (CA16116) brings together a multidisciplinary, cross-European consortium of experts in Wearable Robotics. Ethical, legal and social (ELS) issues in Wearable Robotics have so far been comparatively underexplored. The ELS Working Group of CA16116 aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of ELS issues in Wearabl...
Article
In this article, we provide an overview of the literature on chilling effects and corporate profiling, while also connecting the two topics. We start by explaining how profiling, in an increasingly data-rich environment, creates substantial power asymmetries between users and platforms (and corporations more broadly). Inferences and the increasingl...
Book
Full-text available
The integration of robotic systems and artificial intelligence into healthcare settings is accelerating. As these technological developments interact socially with children, the elderly, or the disabled, they may raise concerns besides mere physical safety; concerns that include data protection, inappropriate use of emotions, invasion of privacy, a...