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Rosa Maria Ballardini and Rob van den Hoven van Genderen sit on red chairs.
Professor Rosa Maria Ballardini and Professor of Practice Rob van den Hoven van Genderen. Photo: Ville Rinne.

Business Finland funding for legal study of emotionally intelligent services

1.6.2022

Professor Rosa Maria Ballardini and Professor of Practice Rob van den Hoven van Genderen have received a Business Finland funding of 351,500 euros as a part of a research consortium which will study and develop physical spaces with emotionally aware, intelligent, and integrated services. Within the project, they will focus on the legal and ethical concerns which are affiliated with such technologies.

Although it is known that emotions can influence our way of living and our experiences, conditioning our wellbeing, current technologies are failing to read and interpret them. Human-technology interoperability and artificial emotional intelligence (HIPE) research project by VTT, the Faculty of Law at the University of Lapland and several business partners aims to enhance physical spaces with emotionally aware, intelligent, and integrated services that can respond to the demand and expectations of users – at work or home, in school or cars, in public or private spaces.

Within the project, Professor Rosa Maria Ballardini and Professor of Practice Rob van den Hoven van Genderen will focus on the legal and ethical concerns which are affiliated with such technologies, for example from the viewpoints of artificial intelligence and the use and protection of data and information. Moreover, the project will examine how law relates to emotion, empathy, and sustainability, as well as user-centric approaches in law. The results will help to evaluate the feasibility of the existing solutions, as well as to develop and test propositions for further legislative improvements in the field, overall ensuring acceptability of the solutions. Outside the HIPE consortium partners, there is also close collaboration with the Vrije University Amsterdam, especially with Professor Britta van Beers and Professor Arno R. Lodder.

Human-technology interoperability and artificial emotional intelligence (HIPE) research project is led by VTT, and it includes also the industrial partners Helvar, Isku and Teleste, as well as Framery, Mall of Tripla and Ambientia. The project will run for three years during 2022–2025. The total budget of the subproject at the University of Lapland is 502,000 euros, out of which the funding of Business Finland is 351,500 euros.

More information:
Rosa Maria Ballardini, Professor of Intellectual Property Law and Vice-Dean (research), Faculty of Law, rosa.ballardini (at) ulapland.fi, Ballardini's research profile
Rob van den Hoven van Genderen, Professor of Practice, Faculty of Law, Rob.vandenHovenvanGenderen (at) ulapland.fi; van den Hoven van Genderen's research profile
Project information at the research portal of the University of Lapland