Kathleen Richardson is Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI at the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR) at De Montfort University. She was awarded her Ph.D. from the department of social anthropology, University of Cambridge where she studied the making of robots in labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Kathleen is author of An Anthropology of Robots and AI: Annihilation Anxiety and Machines (Routledge 2015) and is preparing two further books for publication, one exploring the development of robots for children with autism (contracted with Palgrave-McMillan), and the other is a critical study of Sex Robots (contracted with Polity).

Kathleen’s research is formally developing an ethics of humanity that is informed by the politics of anti-slavery. She is an activist who is inspired by the political movement of abolitionism, and the rejection of human beings as forms of property. She also takes a critical stand against attempts to render commercially produced artefacts (robots and AI) as types of persons.  In 2015, she and a colleague formed The Campaign Against Sex Robots, a non-profit group against the development of robotic technologies shaped by inequalities & objectification of women & children.


Kathleen will be leading the following panel: