Full Name
Kate Darling
Job Title
Lead, Ethics & Policy
The AI Institute
Brief Biography
Dr. Kate Darling is a leading expert in Robot Ethics. She now leads the ethics & policy team at The AI Institute. She’s a former research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, where she investigated social robotics and conducted experimental studies on human-robot interaction. Kate explores the emotional connection between people and life-like machines, seeking to influence technology design and policy direction. Her writing and research anticipate difficult questions that lawmakers, engineers, and the wider public will need to address as human-robot relationships evolve in the coming decades.

Forever interested in how technology intersects with society, Kate has a background in law & economics, and intellectual property. She has researched economic incentives in copyright and patent systems and has taken a role as an intellectual property expert at multiple academic and private institutions. She formerly served as intellectual property policy advisor to the director of the MIT Media Lab and also helped establish the MIT-BU Technology Law Clinic.

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. Kate 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.

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