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Do we need robot law?

Public event


The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


This event is part of the British Academy's season on Robotics, AI and Society

Advances in AI have enabled a range of developments in robotics, from driverless vehicles to unmanned military machines.

These advances raise questions about autonomy and accountability - what happens if a faithful servant disobeys an action, and who is to blame if things go wrong?

Can our current governance mechanisms lessen these risks and empower us to adopt new technologies? Or do we need new laws and guidelines?


  • Professor Susanne Beck, Professor for Criminal Law and Law Philosophy, University Hannover 
  • Roger Bickerstaff, Partner, Bird & Bird
  • Professor Patrick Haggard FBA, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London
  • Professor Noel Sharkey, Emeritus Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, University of Sheffield


  • Dr Hannah Devlin, Science Correspondent, Guardian

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Do we need robot law? The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK