Important Dates

  • June 10th 2012: workshop paper submission deadline (extended deadline)
  • June 28th 2012: notification to authors
  • July 9th 2012: camera ready copy submission
  • August 28th, 2012: workshop

To register to RDA2, please go to ECAI 2012 registration page.


Workshop Proceedings

  • The proceedings are available here
  • They also appear online with CEUR Workshop Proceedings (, ISSN 1613-0073) at the following URL


Workshop Agenda

Rules of the workshop:

  • We have reserved 25 minutes for each paper presentation by the author.
  • We aim at a very interactive RDA2 workshop.
  • In order to promote and facilitate the discussion, each session will finish with a short discussion on the presented papers. Each paper will be shortly discussed by another participant giving a reader's perspective (limited to 3 min.), i.e. a short discussion by one of the other workshop participants who has read the paper. If you want to make slides for your discussion, the limit is 2 slides. During this brief discussion, the reader may discuss things like: a brief (subjective) summary of the paper, his/her view on the paper, the relation to his/ her own work, constructive criticism, suggestions to the author

Agenda of the workshop:

Abstract: This talk considers the issue of rights and duties in the context of social relations based on persistent exchange processes, occurring at both the micro and the macro social levels. Rights and duties that acquire a functional nature in such context are characterized in a tentative formal way. A possible connection between functional rights and duties and the issue of morality as a regulation mechanism for persistent micro social relations is investigated in a preliminary way. The relevance of functional rights and duties at the macro social level for the issue of the modularity of multiagent systems is indicated. 

  • 10:00-10:15: Coffee Break

Ethics and Legal Frameworks for Rights and Duties of Autonomous Agents

  • 10:15-10:45: Florian Gros, Catherine Tessier and Thierry Pichevin, Ethics and Authority Sharing for Autonomous Armed Robots (slides)

Abstract: The goal of this paper is to review several ethical questions that are relevant to the use of autonomous armed robots and to authority sharing between such robots and the human operator. First, we discern the commonly confused senses of morality and ethics. We continue by proposing leads to answer some of the most common ethical questions raised by literature, namely the autonomy, responsibility and moral status of autonomous robots, as well as their ability to reason ethically. We then present the possible advantages that authority sharing with the operator could provide with respect to these questions.

  • 10:45-11:15: Thomas Dubot, Integrating civil unmanned aircraft operating autonomously in non-segregated airspace: towards a dronoethics? (slides)

Abstract: In the context of integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in non-segregated airspace, autonomous operations raise legal and ethical questions. What is the expected behaviour of a civil unmanned aircraft operating autonomously in an airspace shared with other airspace users? And how could we implement this behaviour? We present in this paper a methodology that allowed us, through the analyse of aviation reference documents, to identify ethical criteria necessary to develop a first set of logical rules formalizing this expected behaviour.

  • 11:15-11:45: Bart Kamphorst, The primacy of human autonomy: understanding agent rights through the human rights framework

Abstract: This paper is concerned with the 'rights' of autonomous agent systems in relation to human users or operators and specifically addresses the question of when and to what extent an agent system may take over control from someone. I start by examining an important ethical code of conduct for system designers and engineers and argue that one would do well to understand it within the human rights framework. I then show that framing the discussion on what agent systems may and may not do in terms of human rights has consequences for intelligent agent systems in that they should be respectful of people's dignity and autonomy. In the remainder of the paper I work out the implications of this for the conditions under which agent systems may take over control. I offer an analysis of control, of delegated control, and of autonomy-respectful delegated control, concluding that for an agent system to justifiably take over control from a user, it should at a minimum offer the user a reliable way to take back control in a timely manner. However, when the user's autonomy is at stake, the system should also know about and act in accordance with the user's goals and core values.

  • 11:45-12:15: Elettra Stradella, Pericle Salvini, Alberto Pirni, Angela Di Carlo, Calogero Maria Oddo, Paolo Dario and Erica Palmerini, “Subjectivity” of Autonomous Agents. Some Philosophical and Legal Remarks (slides)

Abstract: In this paper the European flagship project proposal Robo Companion for Citizens (RCC) based on the idea of developing robot companions for citizens, is taken as a case scenario for investigating the feasibility of ascribing rights and duties to autonomous robots from a legal and philosophical standpoint. In talking about rights and duties with respects to robots endowed with of autonomous decision capabilities, one should face the implications that inevitably these terms rise, especially in the field of law. The paper points out the technological problems related to the application of the notion of duty to robots and the problems deriving from attributing a legal subjectivity to non-human entities like robot.

  • 12:15-12:30: Discussion session
  • 12:35-14:00: Lunch

Rights and Duties Conflict Management by Autonomous Agents

  • 14:00-14:30: Clara Smith. Principal and Helper: Notes on Reflex Responsibility in MAS

    Abstract: What justifies -in the head of another agent different from the one acting- the obligation to compensate is the fact that the principal agent has lengthen its own action through the implementation of a foreign activity for its own interests. We present two basic modal operators for representing, respectively, intentions in the interest of another agent and agency in the interest of another agent. They appear useful enough for characterizing the notion of reflex responsibility in a multi-modal multi-agent system (MAS) context.
  • 14:30-15:00: Mihnea Tufis and Jean-Gabriel Ganascia. Normative rational agents - A BDI approach (slides)

    Abstract: This paper proposes an approach on how to accommodate norms to an already existing framework of rational agents. Starting from the famous BDI model, an extension of the BDI execution loop will be presented; it will address such issues as norm instantiation and norm internalization, with a particular emphasis on the problems of norm consistency. A proposal for the resolution of conflicts between newly occurring norms, on one side, and already existing norms or mental states, on the other side, will also be described. While it is fairly difficult to imagine an evaluation for the proposed architecture, a challenging scenario inspired form the science-fiction literature will be used to give the reader an intuition of how the proposed approach will deal with situations of normative conflicts.

  • 15:00-15:30: Sergio Pizziol, Catherine Tessier and Frédéric Dehais. What the heck is it doing? Better understanding Human-Machine conflicts through models

    Abstract: This paper deals with human-machine authority conflicts with a special focus on conflicts caused by an “automation surprise”. Starting from two real cases, we show how modelling each agent’s possible actions is likely to highlight conflict states. Generalizations of conflict models will then be proposed.

  • 15:30-15:45: Discussion session
  • 15:45-16:00: Coffee break
  • 16:00-17:00: Panel session