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Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Governance and Regulation: Better Governance by Design

The Trustworthy Autonomous Systems (TAS) programme brings together research communities and key stakeholders to drive forward cross-disciplinary, fundamental research to ensure that autonomous systems are safe, reliable, resilient, ethical and trusted.

Amazon Alexa with purple lights

Led by Professor Subramanian Ramamoorthy from the School of Informatics and Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, the project is part of the UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems (TAS) programme, funded through the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund and delivered by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The project aims to ensure the trustworthiness of systems that put machines in charge of decisions, from virtual assistants like Alexa to aircraft autopilot.

Prof Burkhard Schafer and Dr Lachlan Urquhart of Edinburgh Law School are co-investigators on the project and lead on research into the legal and social aspects of the governance of Trustworthy Autonomous Systems.

Prof Schafer’s work includes an exploration of how legal norms, rules and human values can be embodied in these systems, as well as mapping out what modes of governance exist for Trustworthy Autonomous Systems in order to anticipate new harms and determine the most appropriate responses. 

Dr Urquhart leads on research that reflects on what trustworthiness looks like for these systems and how these principles can be integrated into developer processes to form a ‘trustworthy by design toolkit’.