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Ozlem Ulgen

Associate Professor in Law, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Biography

Dr Ozlem Ulgen is Associate Professor in Law specialising in the law, ethics, and regulation of AI and robotics; moral and legal philosophy covering weapons law and international humanitarian law; and public international law. She previously held positions as Reader in International Law and Ethics at Birmingham City University; Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College and the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge; and Lecturer in Public International Law at the University of Sheffield and University of Aberdeen. She holds degrees from the University of Nottingham (PhD, LLM) and Keele University (BA Hons). She is a qualified barrister (non-practising) and barrister member of Gray's Inn.

Dr Ulgen has an extensive research and publications record including published works on cosmopolitan ethics in warfare, Kantian ethics and human dignity in the age of AI and robotics, and the law and ethics of autonomous weapons. She is regularly invited to provide expertise and speak at national and international conferences at leading academic and governmental institutions including The Asser Institute; The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies; the UK Ministry of Defence; the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Royal Danish Defence College; and the National University of Defence Technology.

Expertise Summary

Dr Ulgen is engaged in UN, UNESCO, IEEE, and NIST international law-making, standard-setting, and regulatory initiatives in the area of emerging technologies. She is Academic Legal Expert to the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (UN GGE on LAWS), and for several years has been involved in drafting legal and ethical rules on emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems. She has produced reports defining lethal autonomous weapons systems, attribution of human responsibility and human control elements in weapons systems, and reviewing regulatory models. Her work in this area has been instrumental in influencing the UN GGE on LAWS, culminating in the adoption of the 2019 Guiding Principles on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems.

Dr Ulgen contributed to the work of the UNESCO Ad Hoc Expert Group for the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in elaborating rules and principles relating to human responsibility and accountability for AI actors. This culminated in the first global instrument on Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, which was adopted by 193 countries on 23 November 2021.

Dr Ulgen is Chair of the Accountability Expert Focus Group for the world's oldest technical standard-setting body, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Ethics Certification Programme for Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (ECPAIS). She has led on the development and drafting of the world's first human responsibility and accountability requirements for ethical certification of autonomous and intelligent systems in the public and private sectors.

Dr Ulgen is Expert Member of IEEE Standards Working Group P7007 Ontological Standard for Ethically Driven Robotics and Automation Systems, and for several years has drafted the first global standard setting out legal principles and ethical values governing the design and development of autonomous intelligent systems. This culminated in the official publication of the P7007 Standard on 12 November 2021. Dr Ulgen is the recipient of the 2021 IEEE-SA Emerging Technology Award for her outstanding contribution to developing an innovative ontological standard on the ethics of AI.

Dr Ulgen is also Expert Member of IEEE Standards Working Group P7000 Model Process for Addressing Ethical Concerns During System Design, and has drafted legal principles and ethical values applicable to engineers, designers, programmers, and companies in the design and development of AI products, services, and systems. This culminated in the official publication of the P7000 Standard on 15 September 2021.

Teaching Summary

  • LLM Law, AI and Robotics
  • LLM Weapons Law and International Armed Conflict
  • LLB Law of the European Union
  • LLM EU Trade Law, Brexit and International Relations

Research Summary

Cosmopolitan legal theory and Kantian ethics International humanitarian law and weapons law Law and ethics of new weapons technologies under international humanitarian law (including lethal… read more

Recent Publications

  • ULGEN O., 2021. “A ‘Human-Centric and Lifecycle Approach’ to Legal Responsibility for AI” Communications Law Journal. 26(2), 96-107
  • ULGEN O., 2021. “AI and the Crisis of the Self: Protecting Human Dignity as Status and Respectful Treatment”. In: J.A. DEFALCO AND A.J. HAMPTON, ed., On the Frontline of AI Ethics: Machines Like Us? Routledge.
  • ULGEN O., 2021. Written submission to NIST (US Federal National Institute of Standards and Technology) on Public Consultation on Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework
  • ULGEN O., 2021. EPSRC SPRITE+ Project, “God, the Oracle, and the Nightclub Bouncer: Can Human Dignity be Modelled in an AI-based Decision Support System for post-Covid Health Certification?”: Written evidence to the Cabinet Office, COVID-Status Certification Review

Current Research

  • Cosmopolitan legal theory and Kantian ethics
  • International humanitarian law and weapons law
  • Law and ethics of new weapons technologies under international humanitarian law (including lethal autonomous weapon systems)
  • Law, ethics, and regulation of AI and robotics
  • ULGEN O., 2021. “A ‘Human-Centric and Lifecycle Approach’ to Legal Responsibility for AI” Communications Law Journal. 26(2), 96-107
  • ULGEN O., 2021. “AI and the Crisis of the Self: Protecting Human Dignity as Status and Respectful Treatment”. In: J.A. DEFALCO AND A.J. HAMPTON, ed., On the Frontline of AI Ethics: Machines Like Us? Routledge.
  • ULGEN O., 2021. Written submission to NIST (US Federal National Institute of Standards and Technology) on Public Consultation on Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Framework
  • ULGEN O., 2021. EPSRC SPRITE+ Project, “God, the Oracle, and the Nightclub Bouncer: Can Human Dignity be Modelled in an AI-based Decision Support System for post-Covid Health Certification?”: Written evidence to the Cabinet Office, COVID-Status Certification Review
  • ULGEN O., 2020. “User Rights and Adaptive A/IS – From Passive Interaction to Real Empowerment” in HCII Conference Proceedings, in LNCS Series, (Springer 2020), R.A. Sottilare and J. Schwarz (eds.): HCII 2020, LNCS 12214. 205-217
  • ULGEN O., 2019. “Technological Innovations and the Changing Character of Warfare: the Significance of the 1949 Geneva Conventions Seventy Years On” Journal of International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (Humanitäres Völkerrecht). 3-4, 215-228
  • BIELBY J. ET AL AND ULGEN O., 2019. “Classical Ethics in A/IS”. In: IEEE, ed., The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems. Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Well-Being with Autonomous and Intelligent Systems
  • ULGEN O., 2018. “Human Dignity in an Age of Autonomous Weapons: Are We in Danger of Losing an ‘Elementary Consideration of Humanity’?” Baltic Yearbook of International Law. 17/18, 169-196
  • ULGEN O., 2018. “Can Public and Voluntary Acts of Consent Confer Legitimacy on the EU?”. In: F. VERGIS AND E. NANOPOULOS, ed., The Euro-Crisis as a Multi-Dimensional Systemic Failure of the EU Cambridge University Press.
  • ULGEN O., 2018. “Command Responsibility and LAWS”: UN GGE LAWS Report (22/08/2018)
  • ULGEN O., 2018. “Definition and Regulation of LAWS”: UN GGE LAWS Report (05/04/2018)
  • ULGEN O., 2017. “Kantian Ethics in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics” QIL, Zoom-in (Questions of International Law/Question de Droit International/Questioni di Diritto). 43, 59-83
  • ULGEN O., 2017. “Pre-deployment Common Law Duty of Care and Article 36 Obligations in relation to Autonomous Weapons: Interface between Domestic Law and International Humanitarian Law?” The Military Law and the Law of War Review. 56(1), 135-163
  • ULGEN O., 2016. “‘World Community Interest’ Approach to Interim Measures on ‘Robot Weapons’: Revisiting the Nuclear Test Cases” New Zealand Yearbook of International Law. 14, 3-34
  • ULGEN O., 2015. “Boycotts, Funds, and Class Actions: Democratic Imperative Mechanisms against Corporate Complicity in Human Rights Violations” The Palestine Yearbook of International Law. XVIII, 115-143
  • ULGEN O., 2015. “Strengthening EU Democratic Accountability through National and Treaty-Based Pre-Legislative Controls” German Law Journal. 16(4), 741-780
  • ULGEN O., 2015. “European Communities Act 1972: overview”: Westlaw UK Insight
  • ULGEN O., 2015. “European Communities Act 1972: s.2”: Westlaw UK Insight
  • ULGEN O., 2015. “EU: UK obligations (general)”: Westlaw UK Insight
  • ULGEN O., 2015. “Sources of EU law”: Westlaw UK Insight
  • ULGEN O., 2014. “The role of National Parliaments as scrutinizers and guardians of subsidiarity”: Written evidence to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 23 June 2014, published in the final Ministerial Report to Parliament, Review of UK Balance of Competences with the EU: Subsidiarity and Proportionality
  • ULGEN O., 2007. “The United Kingdom’s new Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA): Combining Intelligence and Law Enforcement” Revue Internationale de Droit Penal. 78, 153-179
  • ULGEN O., 2006. “Aboriginal Title and the Right of Internal Self-Determination under the South African Constitution”. In: M.O. HINZ AND T. GATTER, ed., Global Responsibility – Local Agenda: the Legitimacy of Modern Self-determination and African Traditional Authority Lit Verlag. 189-202
  • ULGEN O., 2006. “Aboriginal Case Notes and Treaty Law Entries”. In: ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF NATIVE AMERICAN TREATIES, ed., Encyclopaedia of Native American Treaties ABC-CLIO Inc.
  • ULGEN O., 2003. “The ICTY and Irregular Rendition of Suspects” The Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals. 3, 441-466
  • ULGEN O., 2002. “Developing the Doctrine of Aboriginal Title in South Africa: Source and Content” Journal of African Law. 46(2), 131-154
  • ULGEN O., 2000. “Aboriginal Title in Canada: Recognition and Reconciliation” Netherlands International Law Review. XLVII(2), 146-180
  • WHITE, N.D. and ULGEN, O., 1997. The Security Council and the Decentralised Military Option: Constitutionality and Function Netherlands International Law Review. XLIV, 378-413

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