Oct 26

Innovating responsibly: ethical technology that meets the needs of society

The goal of the Societal Readiness Plan is twofold: to develop a strategy for integrating principles of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) into project activities, and to provide guidelines for assessing the impact of project activities on the Societal Readiness Level (SRL) of the general public for robotic innovation in the four sectors of healthcare, agri-food, inspection & maintenance of infrastructure, and agile production.

The Plan integrates RRI and SRL knowledge informed by the specialized literature, and at the same time renders it workable, accessible and fit for a concrete application. More specifically, the Societal Readiness Level (SRL), as designed by Innovation Fund Denmark, is a methodology for assessing the level of adaptation of innovation to societal needs: when SRL is low, the social adaptation of the innovation requires a particularly well-thought-through transition plan. SRLs are essentially about the solution being evaluated by increasingly large potential user-groups in increasingly broader settings, with a focus on envisioned impact, specific factors that may hinder societal acceptance, and unforeseen societal consequences, in multiple areas, including the legal, ethical, cyber-security, data-protection, socioeconomic, privacy, and diversity & inclusion aspects.

Based on the RRI and SRL frameworks developed, followed and implemented throughout the project, Robotics4EU will develop a Maturity Assessment Model to assess the societal readiness of a given robotic solution.

The goal of the Model is for companies, policymakers, regulatory bodies, or other interested stakeholders to assess different aspects of a robotic system to arrive at a measurement of that solution’s societal readiness.

Check HERE our factsheet based on research conducted for the Robotics EU reports “Societal Readiness Plan of Robotics4EU project” (D1.1).

Authors: Mark Kharas, Roger A. Søraa and Sofia Moratti, NTNU

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