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Dr. Scott Robbins

Research fellow at CASSIS

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Dr. Scott Robbins


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Address: Römerstraße 164, D-53117 Bonn
Room: 3.023








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 interest

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

Selected Publications


Robbins, S., "Machine Learning & Counter-Terrorism: Ethics, Efficacy, and Meaningful Human Control" (PhD thesis). (2021), Retrieved from

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: .

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:

van Wynsberghe, A., Robbins, S., "Critiquing the Reasons for Artificial Moral Agents”, Science and Engineering Ethics. (2018). Retrieved from: DOI

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:

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:



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