Thursday, 29 June

Human Nature

Thu 29 June | 09:30 - 10:15


Another Galaxy

Human Rights in the Robot Age

Smart devices surveilling our lives. Artificial intelligence technology steering our behaviour. Care robots hindering human contact. Does this sound terrifying? Inevitable? It does not have to be. Time for a wake-up call.

The report Human Right in the Robot Age demonstrates that these technologies have a positive and negative impact on human rights. Many fundamental rights are at stake: the right to privacy, human dignity, ownership, safety and liability, freedom of expression, the prohibition of discrimination, access to justice and the right to a fair trial.
After an interactive presentation, the Rathenau Instituut announces the launch of a blog on Human Rights in the Robot Age.


Jurriën Hamer wrote his dissertation at Utrecht University, on the topic of the political functions of fundamental rights. At the Rathenau Instituut he investigates how new technologies can both support and threaten our ideals. He specialises in questions of digitalisation, in particular the question of attaining a durable international cyber peace.

Rinie van Est identifies new developments at the convergence of science, technology, politics and society at the Rathenau Instituut. He focusses on emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science. The combination of these disciplines, known as the ‘NBIC convergence’, is likely to bring about a new technological ‘wave’, reshaping our future with major developments such as synthetic biology, Ambient Intelligence and virtual worlds.