Alexander von Humboldt Professorship for Artificial Intelligence 2021

Aimee van Wynsberghe

Living and working with robots changes people. How can artificial intelligence (AI) be innovative whilst respecting social values at the same time? In the person of Aimee van Wynsberghe, Bonn is gaining one of the world’s leading researchers in AI and robot ethics.

  • Nominating University: University of Bonn
Porträt von Aimee van Wynsberghe
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AI and robot ethics

Robots play an ever-larger role in many people’s everyday lives. They support medical staff during complicated operations, deliver parcels to our front doors in the form of drones and can be found in our children’s rooms acting as playmates. The growing range of AI and robotics applications seems to know no technical boundaries for the future. But what does it mean for people to increasingly interact with machines?
For Aimee van Wynsberghe, the social penetration of artificial intelligence is an ongoing social experiment that requires new rules and control mechanisms. Through her research she wants to introduce previously neglected ethical values into the design and development of scientific and technical innovations.
With her scientific expertise, van Wynsberghe also makes valuable contributions to the international political discourse, be it as co-director and co-founder of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics or as an advisor to the European Commission on questions of artificial intelligence. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on Artificial Intelligence and Humanity and is committed to the major objective of putting the ethical and responsible development of robots on the global agenda.

In the person of Aimee van Wynsberghe, the University of Bonn is gaining one of the world’s most high-profile researchers in robot ethics. By creating the newly-designed professorship in the Applied Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, Bonn will assume a vanguard position in humancentric artificial intelligence in Europe. Van Wynsberghe will also become director of the university’s Institute of Science and Ethics (IWE). In her new positions, she will, amongst other things, set out on a search for meaningful forms of sustainable AI.

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Aimee van Wynsberghe's Homepage

Brief bio

For nearly two decades, the Canadian Professor Dr Aimee van Wynsberghe has been active in the field of information and communications technology (ICT) as well as robotics. After studying in Canada and the Netherlands, she defended her acclaimed doctoral dissertation on the ethical design of care robots at the University of Twente in 2012. She subsequently held assistant professorships in Twente and at the Technical University of Delft, Netherlands, and assumed an associate professorship in ethics and technology at TU Delft in 2020. She was then already director of the Artificial Intelligence Lab in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management. For her research work and her contributions to scientific dialogue, the philosopher received the L’Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science award in 2018. In February 2021 she took up her position as a Humboldt Professor at the University of Bonn.

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