Dr. Scott Robbins

Dr. Scott Robbins

Research Fellow at CASSIS


Mail: srobbins@uni-bonn.de
Address: Römerstraße 164, D-53117 Bonn, Raum: 3.023
Twitter: @CASSIS_Bonn


Dr. Scott Robbins recently completed his PhD in the ethics of artificial intelligence at the Technical University of Delft (thesis: Machine Learning & Counter-Terrorism: Ethics, Efficacy, and Meaningful Human Control). He has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from California State University, Chico and an M.Sc. in Ethics of Technology from the University of Twente. He is a founding member of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics

Dr. Robbins` research focuses on understanding what machine learning powered machines should and should not do in order to retain meaningful human control over them. He is skeptical of Artificial Intelligence as a grand solution to societal problems and argues that Artificial Intelligence should be boring. He has published in peer-reviewed journals such as AI & Society, Science and Engineering Ethics, and Minds and Machines.

Research Focus

Artificial Intelligence Ethics I Meaningful Human Control I Ethics of Technology I Data Ethics


  • Robbins, S., "Machine Learning & Counter-Terrorism: Ethics, Efficacy, and Meaningful Human Control" (PhD thesis). (2021) Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.4233/uuid:ad561ffb-3b28-47b3-b645-448771eddaff
  • Robbins, S., “Bulk Data Collection Ethics”. (forthcoming, 2020). In Miller, S. (ed), Counter Terrorism: The Ethical Issues. Edward Elgar. UK.
  • Robbins, S., "A Misdirected Principle with a Catch: Explicability for AI". (2019). Minds and Machines. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11023-019-09509-3 .
  • Robbins, S., "AI and the path to envelopment: knowledge as a first step towards the responsible regulation and use of AI-powered machines”. (2019) AI & SOCIETY. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-019-00891-1.
  • van Wynsberghe, A., Robbins, S., "Critiquing the Reasons for Artificial Moral Agents”, Science and Engineering Ethics. (2018). Retrieved from: DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-018-0030-8.
  • Henschke, A., Robbins, S., “Designing for Democracy: Bulk Data and Authoritarianism” (first author), Surveillance and Society 15 (3/4). (2017): 582-589. Retrieved from: DOI: https://doi.org/10.24908/ss.v15i3/4.6606.
  • van Wynsberghe A., Robbins, S., “Ethicist as Designer: a pragmatic approach to ethics in the lab,” Science and Engineering Ethics 20 (4) (2014): 947-61. Retrieved from: DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-013-9498-4.

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