Conference paper Open Access

An iterative regulatory process for robot governance

Hadassah Drukarch; Carlos Calleja; Eduard Fosch-Villaronga

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 a result, often lags behind and does not adequately frame robot technologies. This state of affairs inevitably increases legal uncertainty. It is unclear what regulatory frameworks developers have to follow to comply, often resulting in technology that does not perform well in the wild, is unsafe, and can exacerbate biases and discrimination. This paper explores these issues and considers the background, key findings, and lessons learned of the LIAISON project, which stands for Liaising robot development and policymaking, and aims to ideate an alignment model between robots' legal appraisal channeling robot policy development from a hybrid top-down/bottom- up perspective to solve this mismatch. As such, LIAISON seeks to uncover to what extent compliance tools could be used as data generators for robot policy purposes to unravel an optimal regulatory framing for existing and emerging robot technologies.

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