Prior trajectory:

This research group was formed from to a prior research trajectory (2013-present) in the field of virtue ethics.

The main topics they have studied are: Desire and Flourishing (2018-2019); Thomas Aquinas’ notion of desire (2018); Excellence and happiness according to Aristotle (2019); The concept of ergon in contemporary Europe (2018); Aristotle’s human nature and human good, intellectual virtues in decision making (2017); Defining integrity (2016); The basic principles of ethics (2015) and Ethics and spiritual capital (2013-2015).

Field of research:

The group is currently researching the social impact of the technological revolution. They are specifically focused on the ethics of artificial Intelligence (AI) and the human-machine relationship.

Developments in this field are speeding up fast, which allows for improvements and accomplishments that were previously unimaginable. However, this acceleration means we have not had time to reflect carefully upon the impact it will have on people and on society. The group’s research aims to identify this impact and offer guidance on how to use AI sustainably.

Some examples of AI might include virtual assistants such as Google Duplex, Hello Barbie or HDL Baby, as well as an expanding range of other robots including Pepper (to help care for the elderly), Aibo (robotic pet dog), PARO (robotic therapy seal), iPal (robotic childminder), Sofia (humanoid robot from Saudi Arabia). But there are many more examples to explore that have other kinds of impact, such as work “colleagues” and tools for users to interact with, or the latest experiments in biorobotics.

The main objectives are:

  1. To identify the best ways to use AI in terms of its relationship with humans, i.e. data management, help with caring for the sick, diagnosis and decision-making, as well as educational tools and providing support and company for people that live alone.
  2. To analyse the relationship between humans and AI that is marketed as a “companion” or “friend”, from virtual assistants to robots designed to be your best friend, such as Replika or Azuma Hikari by Gatebox.
  3. To identify the impact this interaction with AI has on human sociability to be able to suggest reliable uses that will benefit all citizens. 


Magdalena Bosch  


  • Gabriel Fernández
  • Abel Miró
  • Paloma Alonso
  • Cyntia Menezes