Virginia Dignum

Virginia Dignum
Umeå University | UMU · Department of Computing Science

PhD

About

373
Publications
77,838
Reads
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6,757
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - present
Umeå University
Position
  • Professor
November 2009 - present
Delft University of Technology
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
December 2003 - November 2009
Utrecht University

Publications

Publications (373)
Preprint
Full-text available
Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a highly transformative technology take on a special role as both an enabler and a threat to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). AI Ethics and emerging high-level policy efforts stand at the pivot point between these outcomes but is barred from effect due the abstraction gap between high-level values and respons...
Conference Paper
An important issue in deploying an autonomous system is how to enable human users and stakeholders to develop an appropriate level of trust in the system. It has been argued that a crucial mechanism to enable appropriate trust is the ability of a system to explain its behaviour. Obviously, such explanations need to be comprehensible to humans. Due...
Preprint
Full-text available
The impact of Artificial Intelligence does not depend only on fundamental research and technological developments, but for a large part on how these systems are introduced into society and used in everyday situations. AI is changing the way we work, live and solve challenges but concerns about fairness, transparency or privacy are also growing. Ens...
Preprint
Full-text available
The impact of Artificial Intelligence does not depend only on fundamental research and technological developments, but for a large part on how these systems are introduced into society and used in everyday situations. Even though AI is traditionally associated with rational decision making, understanding and shaping the societal impact of AI in all...
Chapter
Full-text available
This article reports the findings of AI4People, a year-long initiative designed to lay the foundations for a “Good AI Society”. We introduce the core opportunities and risks of AI for society; present a synthesis of five ethical principles that should undergird its development and adoption; and offer 20 concrete recommendations – to assess, to deve...
Article
Full-text available
Accountability is a value often mentioned in the debate on intelligent systems and their increased pervasiveness in our society. When focusing specifically on autonomous systems, a critical gap emerges: although there is much work on governance and attribution of accountability, there is a significant lack of methods for the operationalisation of a...
Article
Full-text available
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to expand its reach, the demand for human control and the development of AI systems that adhere to our legal, ethical, and social values also grows. Many (international and national) institutions have taken steps in this direction and published guidelines for the development and deployment of responsible AI...
Article
An important issue in deploying an autonomous system is how to enable human users and stakeholders to develop an appropriate level of trust in the system. It has been argued that a crucial mechanism to enable appropriate trust is the ability of a system to explain its behaviour. Obviously, such explanations need to be comprehensible to humans. Due...
Chapter
Just recently, IBM invited me to participate in a panel titled “Will AI ever be completely fair?” My first reaction was that it surely would be a very short panel, as the only possible answer is ‘no’. In this short paper, I wish to further motivate my position in that debate: “I will never be completely fair. Nothing ever is. The point is not compl...
Chapter
Autonomous agents (AA) will increasingly be interacting with us in our daily lives. While we want the benefits attached to AAs, it is essential that their behavior is aligned with our values and norms. Hence, an AA will need to estimate the values and norms of the humans it interacts with, which is not a straightforward task when solely observing a...
Chapter
Norms are general expectations of behavior in societies. Huge amount of computer-mediated interaction data available in the social media domain provides an opportunity to extract and study communication norms, both to understand their prevalence and to make informed decisions about adopting them. While interactions in social media platforms such as...
Chapter
Mercuur, RijkDignum, VirginiaJonker, Catholijn M.Inducing behavioural change requires a good understanding of how habits break. We identified two theories in the psychological literature on this process: the decrease theory and persist theory. Both theories are used to explain behavioural change, but one states the original habit fades out, while t...
Article
Full-text available
Accountability and responsibility are key concepts in the academic and societal debate on Autonomous Weapon Systems, but these notions are often used as high-level overarching constructs and are not operationalised to be useful in practice. “Meaningful Human Control” is often mentioned as a requirement for the deployment of Autonomous Weapon System...
Chapter
Modern AI systems have become of widespread use in almost all sectors with a strong impact on our society. However, the very methods on which they rely, based on Machine Learning techniques for processing data to predict outcomes and to make decisions, are opaque, prone to bias and may produce wrong answers. Objective functions optimized in learnin...
Preprint
Full-text available
Our routines play an important role in a wide range of social challenges such as climate change, disease outbreaks and coordinating staff and patients in a hospital. To use agent-based simulations (ABS) to understand the role of routines in social challenges we need an agent framework that integrates routines. This paper provides the domain-indepen...
Article
Evidence-driven agent-based modeling plays a useful part in understanding social phenomena. By integrating social-cognitive theories in our agent models, we bear evidence from social and psychological studies on our models for human decision-making. Social practice theory (SPT) provides a socio-cognitive theory that emphasizes three empirically and...
Chapter
The right to contest a decision with consequences on individuals or the society is a well-established democratic right. Despite this right also being explicitly included in GDPR in reference to automated decision-making, its study seems to have received much less attention in the AI literature compared, for example, to the right for explanation. Th...
Article
We define hybrid intelligence (HI) as the combination of human and machine intelligence, augmenting human intellect and capabilities instead of replacing them and achieving goals that were unreachable by either humans or machines. HI is an important new research focus for artificial intelligence, and we set a research agenda for HI by formulating f...
Article
Full-text available
In their efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, decision makers are considering the development and use of smartphone applications for contact tracing. Even though these applications differ in technology and methods, there is an increasing concern about their implications for privacy and human rights. Here we propose a framework to evaluate their s...
Preprint
Full-text available
The right to contest a decision with consequences on individuals or the society is a well-established democratic right. Despite this right also being explicitly included in GDPR in reference to automated decision-making, its study seems to have received much less attention in the AI literature compared, for example, to the right for explanation. Th...
Article
Full-text available
During the COVID-19 crisis there have been many difficult decisions governments and other decision makers had to make. E.g. do we go for a total lock down or keep schools open? How many people and which people should be tested? Although there are many good models from e.g. epidemiologists on the spread of the virus under certain conditions, these m...
Preprint
Full-text available
(Preprint arXiv:2005.08370). In their efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, decision makers are considering the development and use of smartphone applications for contact tracing. Even though these applications differ in technology and methods, there is an increasing concern about their implications for privacy and human rights. Here we propose a...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the COVID-19 crisis there have been many difficult decisions governments and other decision makers had to make. E.g. do we go for a total lock down or keep schools open? How many people and which people should be tested? Although there are many good models from e.g. epidemiologists on the spread of the virus under certain conditions, these m...
Preprint
Autonomous agents (AA) will increasingly be interacting with us in our daily lives. While we want the benefits attached to AAs, it is essential that their behavior is aligned with our values and norms. Hence, an AA will need to estimate the values and norms of the humans it interacts with, which is not a straightforward task when solely observing a...
Article
The last few years have seen a huge growth in the capabilities and applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems. Hardly a day goes by without news about technological advances and the societal impact of the use of AI. AI is changing the way we work, live and solve challenges. For example, it can improve healthcare, protect el...
Article
Full-text available
Journals, funders and scholars must work together to create an infrastructure to study peer review. Journals, funders and scholars must work together to create an infrastructure to study peer review.
Article
Full-text available
Many high-level ethics guidelines for AI have been produced in the past few years. It is time to work towards concrete policies within the context of existing moral, legal and cultural values, say Andreas Theodorou and Virginia Dignum.
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and its progressively wider impact on many sectors requires an assessment of its effect on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Using a consensus-based expert elicitation process, we find that AI can enable the accomplishment of 134 targets across all the goals, but it may also inhibit...
Article
In the political debate on Autonomous Weapon Systems strong views and opinions are voiced, but empirical research to support these opinions is lacking. Insight into which moral values are related to the deployment of Autonomous Weapon Systems is missing. We describe the empirical results of two studies on moral values regarding Autonomous Weapon Sy...
Article
Full-text available
AI4People's second year of activities has focused on applying-concretely, in real world scenarios and through appropriate governance-those ethical principles of AI announced by AI4People in 2018. The 2019 White Paper gives shape to-whilst establishing priorities and critical issues-14 Priority Actions, a Model of S.M.A.R.T. Governance and a Regulat...
Chapter
In his article “Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions”, Rodney Brooks quotes Amara’s Law: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” In its relatively short history, AI has been overestimated several times, in the 1960s, in the 1980s, leading to the so-called, AI winters, and un...
Chapter
In the previous chapters, we have discussed the issue of responsibility with respect to the processes to design, develop, deploy and use AI (Chapter 4), and how to deal with ethical reasoning by the AI systems themselves (Chapter 5). In this chapter, we will look at mechanisms that can ensure that all involved will indeed take the responsible route...
Chapter
As intelligent machines become increasingly ubiquitous, researchers, policy-makers and the general public alike are growing concerned about the ethical implications. A large part of these concerns relate to the capability, or the lack thereof, of machines to make decisions of an ethical nature. In this chapter, we discuss the design of machines tha...
Chapter
Defining Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no easy task. The field itself is broad and different approaches have provided differing definitions. The aim of this chapter is not to solve this issue or present a single definition of AI but to help understand what are the different claims, and, in the process, understand what today’s state-of-the-art AI...
Chapter
Now that we have discussed what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is and how ethical theories can be relevant to understanding the impact of AI, we turn our attention to the practical development of AI systems in ways that are aligned with human values and can ensure trust.
Chapter
In the previous chapter, we looked at the responsible design of AI systems, from the perspective of the design process. The issue we will discuss now is whether we can develop an AI system that is able to reason about its social and normative context and the ethical consequences of its decisions. The question is thus, can we build artificial ethica...
Preprint
Full-text available
While recent surveys show that most stakeholders recognise the importance of peer review to the publication process, there is a lack of systematic research on the topic. In a period of hyper-competition for resources, with perverse incentives that lead to academic capitalism and a “publish or perish” mentality, the lack of robust and cumulative res...
Article
Full-text available
Stakeholder participation is a requirement for environmental decision-making in the European Union. Despite this, numerous instances can be seen in water governance in which stakeholders feel undervalued and unheard, thereby creating unfavourable procedural outcomes, resistance and conflict. In this article, we propose that a process of early-stage...
Article
To better understand the impact of deliberations during participatory policymaking events, we introduce and explore the concept of group proximity . An example of such events is citizens’ summits, during which many parallel groups deliberate on solutions for a policy issue. At the summit that was studied, each group followed a value deliberation pr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications are being used to predict and assess behaviour in multiple domains which directly affect human well-being. However, if AI is to improve people’s lives, then people must be able to trust it, by being able to understand what the system is doing and why. Although transparency is often seen as the requirement i...
Article
Pedagogical Agents (PAs) that would guide interactions in intelligent learning environments were envisioned two decades ago. These early animated characters had been shown to deliver learning benefits. However, little was understood regarding what aspects were beneficial for learning and what sort of learning PAs were suitable for. This article con...
Preprint
Full-text available
The development of AI will shape all aspects of our future. Our novel analysis shows that AI can support the achievement of all the UN Sustainable Development Goals. However, it is essential to reinforce the global debate regarding the use of AI and to develop the necessary regulatory insight and oversight for AI-based technologies. * With: Max Te...
Preprint
Full-text available
The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and its progressively wider impact on many sectors across the society requires an assessment of its effect on sustainable development. Here we analyze published evidence of positive or negative impacts of AI on the achievement of each of the 17 goals and 169 targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable De...
Preprint
Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications are being used to predict and assess behaviour in multiple domains, such as criminal justice and consumer finance, which directly affect human well-being. However, if AI is to improve people's lives, then people must be able to trust AI, which means being able to understand what the system is doing and why....
Article
Full-text available
Social simulations gain strength when agent behaviour can (1) represent human behaviour and (2) be explained in understandable terms. Agents with values and norms lead to simulation results that meet human needs for explanations, but have not been tested on their ability to reproduce human behaviour. This paper compares empirical data on human beha...
Book
In this book, the author examines the ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence systems as they integrate and replace traditional social structures in new sociocognitive-technological environments. She discusses issues related to the integrity of researchers, technologists, and manufacturers as they design, construct, use, and manage artifici...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ethics by Design concerns the methods, algorithms and tools needed to endow autonomous agents with the capability to reason about the ethical aspects of their decisions, and the methods, tools and formalisms to guarantee that an agent's behavior remains within given moral bounds. In this context some questions arise: How and to what extent can agen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Rumour is a collective emergent phenomenon with a potential for provoking a crisis. Modelling approaches have been deployed since five decades ago; however, the focus was mostly on epidemic behaviour of the rumours which does not take into account the differences of the agents. We use social practice theory to model agent decision making in organiz...
Article
Full-text available
This article reports the findings of AI4People, an Atomium—EISMD initiative designed to lay the foundations for a “Good AI Society”. We introduce the core opportunities and risks of AI for society; present a synthesis of five ethical principles that should undergird its development and adoption; and offer 20 concrete recommendations—to assess, to d...
Preprint
Full-text available
To understand societal phenomena through simulation, we need computational variants of socio-cognitive theories. Social Practice Theory has provided a unique understanding of social phenomena regarding the routinized, social and interconnected aspects of behaviour. This paper provides the Social Practice Agent (SoPrA) model that enables the use of...
Preprint
This article reports the findings of AI4People, a year-long initiative designed to lay the foundations for a “Good AI Society”. We introduce the core opportunities and risks of AI for society; present a synthesis of five ethical principles that should undergird its development and adoption; and offer 20 concrete recommendations – to assess, to deve...
Article
Full-text available
This article reports the findings of AI4People, a year-long initiative designed to lay the foundations for a "Good AI Society". We introduce the core opportunities and risks of AI for society; present a synthesis of five ethical principles that should undergird its development and adoption; and offer 20 concrete recommendations-to assess, to develo...
Chapter
Cybersecurity is a growing concern for organisations. Decision-making concerning responses to threats will involve making choices from a number of possible options. The choice made will often depend on the values held by the organisation and/or the individual/s making the decisions. To address the issue of how to capture ethical dilemmas and the va...
Article
Current developments in governance and policy setting are challenging traditional top-down models of decision-making. Whereas, on the one hand, citizens are increasingly demanding and expected to participate directly on governance questions, social networking platforms are, on the other hand, increasingly providing podia for the spread of unfounded...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
With HCI, researchers conduct studies in interdisciplinary projects involving massive volume of data, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. Awareness of the responsibility is emerging as a key concern for the HCI community. This Community will be impacted by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) [5], that will enter int...
Book
Full-text available
In the area of consumer robots that need to have rich social interactions with humans, one of the challenges is the complexity of computing the appropriate interactions in a cognitive, social and physical context. We propose a novel approach for social robots based on the concept of Social Practices. By using social practices robots are able to be...
Article
Full-text available
An institution typically comprises constitutive rules, which give shape and meaning to social interactions and regulative rules, which prescribe agent behaviour in the society. Regulative rules guide social interaction, in particular when they are coupled with reward and punishment regulations that are enforced for (non-) compliance. Institution ex...
Article
Seeking better integration of two research communities.
Chapter
The development of water infrastructure is a long and complex process that involves multiple stakeholders, multiple scales, various sub-systems and relations of dependence among stakeholders. Stakeholder participation is increasingly seen as an indispensable element of water policymaking. The failure to address stakeholders’ underlying values, howe...
Chapter
Decision-making processes involving multiple stakeholders can be rather cumbersome, turbulent and lengthy. The stance of some stakeholders, upholding their individual interests, can slowdown or even block such processes. Recent research suggests that a focus on the values of the stakeholders could benefit those decision-making processes. However, t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper aims to contribute to the development of realistic social agents by investigating the relevance of human values, such as privacy, wealth and fairness, in decision making. The concrete question studied in this paper is whether human behavior in the Ultimatum Game (UG) is better modeled with a value-based agent or with a learning homo econ...
Conference Paper
Autonomous agents are increasingly required to be able to make moral decisions. In these situations, the agent should be able to reason about the ethical bases of the decision and explain its decision in terms of the moral values involved. This is of special importance when the agent is interacting with a user and should understand the value priori...
Conference Paper
As intelligent systems are increasingly making decisions that directly affect society, perhaps the most important upcoming research direction in AI is to rethink the ethical implications of their actions. Means are needed to integrate moral, societal and legal values with technological developments in AI, both during the design process as well as p...
Article
Full-text available
As intelligent systems are increasingly making decisions that directly affect society, perhaps the most important upcoming research direction in AI is to rethink the ethical implications of their actions. Means are needed to integrate moral, societal and legal values with technological developments in AI, both during the design process as well as p...
Article
Full-text available
Open systems are characterized by the presence of a diversity of heterogeneous and autonomous agents that act according to private goals. Organizations, such as those used in real-life to structure human activities such as task allocation, coordination and supervision, can regulate the agents’ behavior space and describe the expected behavior of th...
Article
Full-text available
The irreversible marriage between digital technology and physical urban infrastructure has given rise to the concept of smart infrastructure. The potential benefits of smart infrastructure are significant; however, their realisation will depend on society’s ability to address pressing issues, such as the need to develop a common language to describ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Norms are general expectations of behaviour in societies. Huge amount of computer-mediated interaction data available in the social media domain provides an opportunity to extract and study communication norms. While interactions in social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have been studied, only recently researchers have started examini...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Institutions regulate societies. Comprising Searle's con-stitutive counts-as rules, " A counts-as B in context C " , an institution ascribes from brute and institutional facts (As), a social reality comprising institutional facts (Bs) conditional on the s