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Staff photo Virginia Dignum

Virginia Dignum

Professor, Wallenberg chair on Responsible Artificial Intelligence.

Scientific Director of WASP-HS (Humanities and Society). 


Works at

MIT-huset, Umeå universitet, D447 Umeå universitet, 901 87 Umeå

My research focuses on the complex interconnections and interdependencies between people, organizations and technology. My work ranges from the engineering of practical applications and simulations to the development of formal theories that integrate agency and organization, and includes a strong methodological design component. My current research directions are:

  • Responsible artificial intelligence. Which moral and ethical issues arise from the activity of autonomous intelligent agents in teams? How can activity be regulated? How can intelligent agents and other synthetic entities reason about and take decisions on moral questions.
  • Analyze 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. Central research question here 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.

Given the increasing importance of understang the impact of AI at societal, ethical and legal level, I am actively involved in several international initiatives on policy and strategy guidelines for AI research and applications. As such I am a member of the European Commission High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, the World Economic Forum Council on AI, the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethically Aligned Design of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, the Delft Design for Values Institute, the European Global Forum on AI (AI4People), the Responsible Robotics Foundation, the Dutch AI Alliance on AI (ALLAI-NL) and of the ADA-AI foundation

In recognition of my research, in 2018 I was appointed Fellow of the European Artificial Intelligence Association (EURAI). In 2006, I received the prestigious Veni grant from NWO (Dutch Organization for Scientific Research) for my work on computational agent-based organizational frameworks. I speak often on the social and ethical impact of AI at conferences, meetings and other events, have published extensively on the topic, and am a member of program committees of most major journals and conferences in AI.

I am also associated with the Faculty Technology Policy and Management at the Delft University of Technology. See here what I do there. 

I actively tweet about AI and its social and ethical impact. You can follow me on @vdignum.

Rules and Reasoning. RuleML+RR 2020., Springer 2020 : 159-167
Aler Tubella, Andrea; Theodorou, Andreas; Dignum, Virginia; et al.
Minds and Machines, Springer 2020, Vol. 30, (2) : 177-194
Dignum, Frank; Dignum, Virginia; Davidsson, Paul; et al.
NeHuAI 2020 : First International Workshop on New Foundations for Human-Centered AI: Proceedings of the First International Workshop on New Foundations for Human-Centered AI (NeHuAI) co-located with 24th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 2020), RWTH Aachen University 2020 : 3-10
Hellström, Thomas; Dignum, Virginia; Bensch, Suna
Transactions on Data Privacy, Transactions on Data Privacy 2020, Vol. 13, (1) : 61-66
Nanni, Mirco; Andrienko, Gennady; Barabasi, Albert-Laszlo; et al.
Nature Machine Intelligence
Theodorou, Andreas; Dignum, Virginia
Minds and Machines
Verdiesen, Ilse; Santoni de Sio, Filippo; Dignum, Virginia
Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group 2020, Vol. 11, (1)
Vinuesa, Ricardo; Azizpour, Hossein; Leite, Iolanda; et al.
AISafety 2019: Proceedings of the Workshop on Artificial Intelligence Safety 2019co-located with the 28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-19)
Aler Tubella, Andrea; Dignum, Virginia
Proceedings of the 28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Aler Tubella, Andrea; Theodorou, Andreas; Dignum, Frank; et al.
JASSS: Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, J A S S S 2019, Vol. 22, (1)
Mercuur, Rijk; Dignum, Virginia; Jonker, Catholijn M.
British Journal of Educational Technology, Wiley-Blackwell 2019, Vol. 50, (6) : 2885-2901
Richards, Deborah; Dignum, Virginia
IEEE technology & society magazine, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 2019, Vol. 38, (4) : 34-44
Verdiesen, Ilse; de Sio, Filippo Santoni; Dignum, Virginia
International Research Conference Robophilosophy 2018, Vienna, Austria, February 14-17, 2018
Clodic, Aurélie; Vázquez-Salceda, Javier; Dignum, Frank; et al.
Ethics and Information Technology, Vol. 20, (1) : 1-3
Dignum, Virginia
Proceedings of the 2018 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society, New York: ACM Publications 2018 : 60-66
Dignum, Virginia; Baldoni, Matteo; Baroglio, Christina; et al.
Envisioning Robots in Society: Power, Politics, and Public Space
Dignum, Virginia; Dignum, Frank; Vázquez-Salceda, Javier; et al.
Minds and Machines, Springer 2018, Vol. 28, (4) : 689-707
Floridi, Luciano; Cowls, Josh; Beltrametti, Monica; et al.
10th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence: (Volume 2)
Larsen, John Bruntse; Dignum, Virginia; Villadsen, Jørgen; et al.
30th Benelux Conference on Artificial Intelligence,: BNAIC 2018 Preproceedings : 133-147
Mercuur, Rijk; Larsen, John Bruntse; Dignum, Virginia
Pacific Rim Knowledge Acquisition Workshop, Springer 2018 : 32-45
Richards, Deborah; Dignum, Virginia; Ryan, Malcolm; et al.
2018 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) : 4069-4083
Shults, F LeRon; Wildman, Wesley J; Dignum, Virginia
Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM 2018 : 1-8
Thelisson, Eva; Sharma, Kshitij; Salam, Hanan; et al.
Computer Safety, Reliability, and Security: SAFECOMP 2018 Workshops, Springer 2018 : 494-506
Verdiesen, Ilse; Dignum, Virginia; Rahwan, Iyad
ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, ACM 2018, Vol. 18, (4) : 43:1-43:20
Verdiesen, Ilse; Dignum, Virginia; Van Den Hoven, Jeroen
Computer Safety, Reliability, and Security, Springer International Publishing 2018 : 521-534
Winikoff, Michael; Dignum, Virginia; Dignum, Frank

Research groups

Research projects

1 March 2020
1 January 2020 until 31 December 2023
1 January 2020 until 31 December 2021
2 September 2019 until 28 August 2020
1 July 2019
1 July 2019
1 May 2019 until 1 May 2021
1 March 2019 until 30 April 2020
1 January 2019 until 31 December 2022
1 January 2019 until 31 December 2024