Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 8 April 2020)

Skip to content

Responsible Artificial Intelligence

The research group in Responsible AI was established to study the ethical and societal impact of AI, while supporting policymakers through the development of tools and methodologies to mitigate adverse effects.

We are interested not only in the development of intelligent agents, but also in understanding the effects of their deployment on our societies. We are working to ensure the ethical application of Artificial Intelligence (AI), both through:

  1. public engagement and frequent interaction with policymakers,
  2. facilitating the engineering of Responsible AI to mitigate adverse effects.

Our diverse multidisciplinary research programme aims to help all relevant actors to have access to the means and tools to develop, deploy, operate, and govern systems, while taking any ethical, legal, and socio-economics implications into consideration.

Research Topics & Questions

  • AI Governance: Which ethical, legal, and socio-economic issues arise from the activity of autonomous intelligent agents in teams? How can activity be regulated?  What are the moral and legal values we want our systems to adhere to?
  • Systems Engineering of AI: How can we develop intelligent systems with modular maintainable code? How can we efficiently develop systems that adhere to our moral and legal values?
  • Analysis and formalization of social interaction: The aim is to study the effect of social and organizational structure taking into account the autonomy and heterogeneity of participants and the societal and legal values holding in the context. To this end, we are developing formal theories and a computational architecture for agent deliberation based on social-practices.
  • Design and evaluation of human-agent teamwork: The central research question is how do people interact (negotiate, trust, cooperate) with autonomous cognitive entities in a social setting and the development of agent-based simulations of complex socio-technical domains.

Current Projects

  • WASP-HS: Funded by the Wellenberg Foundations, WASP-HS is a 660mil SEK project headed by Virginia Dignum here at Umeå. Thge project aims to study of the impact of technology on entrepreneurship and society, and will also collaborate with WASP on the doctoral program, among other things.The program is interdisciplinary, combining humanities and social sciences with technological research to support the recruitment of over 70 PhD students and various supporting researchers.
  • WASP-AS: This project, funded by the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program, is focused on researching and addressing the societal, ethical and cultural impact of AI. Within this umbrella, we are developing formal methods to help monitor and design ethically-aligned agents.
  • AI4EU: AI4EU is the European Union’s landmark AI project, which seeks to develop a European ecosystem, bringing together the knowledge, algorithms, tools and resources available and making it a compelling solution for users. Involving 80 partners, covering 21 countries, the AI4EU will unify Europe’s Artificial Intelligence community. Our contribution is the design of a development methodology for AI systems. Our development methodology, to be made available in the platform, enables its users to create systems that do not only perform, but are also inline with our European values.
  • HumaneAI: This project aims at create a set of recommended actions to present the value of the Human-Centered approach to help all European member states build Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and achieve the goals set by the European Commission in its European approach to Artificial Intelligence. The HumaneAI Action Plan will be based and drawn from the new proposed research roadmap and will provide recommendations to stakeholders in strategic areas that are relevant for a Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence.

Visiting Fellowship Program

The AI research groups at the Department of Computer Science, Umeå University, Sweden, have established a Visiting Fellowship program to foster the development of links with international scholars (at least 5 years post doctorate). This Fellowship is an exciting opportunity for scholars to visit the Department, contribute to its academic life and form new collaborations. The focus of the Fellowship is on the impact of Artificial Intelligence, in the broadest sense, a key strength and unifying feature of the AI cluster, or on a substantive area of interest within AI cluster.

Proposals for collaborative research with members of the AI cluster are especially welcome. Applicants are therefore strongly encouraged to engage on interaction with members of the cluster prior to submitting their application for visiting fellowship program. We expect to support 3 to 5 fellowships per year.

Closing date for visiting fellowship applications for the Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 is 21 August 2019. Notifications will be send out by early September 2019.

Application form is here


Projects Responsible Artificial Intelligence.


Publications Responsible Artificial Intelligence.

Umeå professor on world list
Umeå professor on world list

Professor Virginia Dignum's book on AI ranked as one of the best books in computer science 2019.