Dr. Kate Darling

Tagline: Robotics Expert

Talent Highlights

  • Leading robotics expert known for her groundbreaking research in the field of robotics ethics.
  • Shares incredible insights on human-robot interaction, robot ethics, and the ways robots will impact society in the near-term future.

Keynote Topics

The robots are coming and they’re getting smarter, evolving from singletask devices (think Roomba) into machines that can make their own decisions and autonomously navigate public spaces. From transportation systems, hospitals, and the military, to the robotization of our workplaces and households, robots will be everywhere and will increasingly interact with people.

Whether you find it exhilarating or terrifying (or both), progress in robotics and related fields like AI raises new ethical quandaries and challenges legal codes created for a world in which a sharp line separates man from machine.

Drawing from her recent work exploring humans’ emotional responses to robots, Dr. Kate Darling answers questions like:

What happens when robots move from behind factory walls into shared spaces and begin interacting with humans?
What opportunities and challenges should we anticipate in the future of human-robot interaction?
Where does the true potential of AI and robotics lie, and will robots supplement human ability, or replace it?
Why do people treat robots like living things, and why does that matter?
What can and can’t robots and AI do? What societal challenges will we face in a future with robots (ethical, legal, and social)?

Dr. Darling examines why people fear some robots and empathize with others, while also prompting—and answering—questions about what society’s relationship with these robots could look like in the future.

What follows is in part an examination of the technology itself, but ultimately, offers a window into how it’s poised to change the way we relate to each other and our own humanity—and why it matters.

Travels from:

  • Boston, MA

Fee Range:

  • Fees* On Request




Dr. Kate Darling stands at the forefront of the rapidly evolving field of Robot Ethics, wielding her expertise as a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. With a keen focus on human-robot interaction, she delves into the intricate dynamics of social robotics, unraveling the complexities of our emotional connection with […]

Dr. Kate Darling stands at the forefront of the rapidly evolving field of Robot Ethics, wielding her expertise as a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. With a keen focus on human-robot interaction, she delves into the intricate dynamics of social robotics, unraveling the complexities of our emotional connection with life-like machines. As a thought leader, Kate endeavors to shape technology design and policy, probing the ethical considerations that underpin the burgeoning relationship between humans and robots.

Dr. Kate Darling | AI Robotics Expert

Expertise and Background:

Kate Darling’s journey as a trailblazer in Robot Ethics is underscored by her multidisciplinary background. Armed with a foundation in law, economics, and intellectual property, she brings a unique perspective to her research endeavors. Prior to her tenure at MIT, Kate delved into the intricacies of economic incentives within copyright and patent systems, laying the groundwork for her nuanced understanding of the intersection between technology and society.

Her influence extends beyond academia, as she has assumed pivotal roles as an intellectual property expert at both academic and private institutions. Notably, she served as the intellectual property policy advisor to the director of the MIT Media Lab, where she played a pivotal role in shaping the institution’s approach to emerging technological challenges. Additionally, Kate played an instrumental part in establishing the MIT-BU Technology Law Clinic, further solidifying her commitment to bridging the gap between law and technology.

At events worldwide, Kate Darling captivates audiences with her insightful presentations, offering profound insights into the evolving landscape of human-robot interaction. Armed with a wealth of research and real-world experiences, she navigates the ethical complexities of this burgeoning field with clarity and conviction. Through her engaging speaking engagements, Kate sparks critical conversations about the societal implications of advancing robotics technology, inspiring attendees to contemplate the ethical considerations that accompany technological innovation.

Her passion for technology and robots has led her to interdisciplinary fields. After co-teaching a robot ethics course at Harvard Law School with Professor Lawrence Lessig, she began to work at the intersection of law and robotics, with a focus on legal and social issues.

Dr. Kate Darling is a former Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and the Yale Information Society Project, and is also an affiliate at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. She’s a senior co-chair for We Robot, the leading conference on legal and policy questions relating to robots.

Dr. Kate Darling work has been featured in Vogue, The New Yorker, The Guardian, BBC, NPR, PBS, The Boston Globe, Forbes, CBC, WIRED, Boston Magazine, The Atlantic, Slate, Die Zeit, The Japan Times, and more. She writes a monthly column for BBC’s Science Focus magazine and has been a contributing writer to Robohub and IEEE Spectrum. She currently speaks and holds workshops covering some of the more interesting developments in the world of robotics, and where we might find ourselves in the future.

Kate graduated from law school with honors and holds a doctorate of sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and an honorary doctorate of sciences from Middlebury College. In 2017, the American Bar Association honored her legal work with the Mark T. Banner award in Intellectual Property. Dr. Kate Darling is the caretaker for several domestic robots, including her Pleos Yochai, Peter, and Mr. Spaghetti. She tweets as @grok_ about eating cheerios for dinner.

Why Book Dr. Kate Darling:

Event planners seeking to provoke thought and inspire dialogue on the ethical dimensions of technology would be remiss to overlook Dr. Kate Darling. With her unparalleled expertise in Robot Ethics and human-robot interaction, she offers a dynamic and engaging perspective that resonates with audiences across diverse industries. From corporate summits to academic conferences, Kate’s presentations stimulate critical thinking and challenge conventional wisdom, making her an invaluable addition to any event lineup.

Furthermore, Kate’s ability to bridge the gap between academia and industry ensures that her insights are not only thought-provoking but also actionable. As technology continues to permeate every facet of society, her expertise serves as a guiding light for policymakers, technologists, and thought leaders alike. By booking Dr. Kate Darling, event planners can offer attendees a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the ethical implications of emerging technologies, empowering them to navigate the complexities of our increasingly interconnected world.

Why Choose Speakers Inc:

Event planners entrusted with curating memorable and impactful experiences for their attendees can benefit immensely from partnering with Speakers Inc. With a roster of world-renowned experts like Dr. Kate Darling, Speakers Inc. ensures access to thought leaders at the forefront of their respective fields. By leveraging their extensive network and industry expertise, Speakers Inc. simplifies the process of securing top-tier speakers, offering unparalleled value and peace of mind to event planners.

Moreover, Speakers Inc. goes beyond mere matchmaking, providing comprehensive support and resources to ensure the success of every event. From logistical coordination to tailored content development, their team of professionals is committed to exceeding client expectations at every turn. By entrusting their speaker selection process to Speakers Inc., event planners can focus on delivering exceptional experiences that leave a lasting impact on attendees.

Summary and Conclusion:

In summary, Dr. Kate Darling emerges as a preeminent authority in Robot Ethics, leveraging her multidisciplinary background to navigate the ethical complexities of human-robot interaction. Through her groundbreaking research and engaging speaking engagements, she illuminates the societal implications of advancing robotics technology, inspiring critical dialogue and shaping policy direction. Event planners seeking to enrich their programs with thought-provoking insights and actionable takeaways can rely on Dr. Kate Darling to deliver a compelling and memorable experience.

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