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Kathleen Richardson

Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI, De Montfort University

Kathleen Richardson is Senior Research Fellow in Ethics of Robotics and part of the Europe-wide DREAM project (Development of Robot-Enhance Therapy for Children with AutisM). She is also affiliated with the ViR.AL interest group.

Kathleen completed her PhD at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Her fieldwork was an investigation of the making of robots in labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After her PhD Kathleen was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (BAPDF), a position she held at the University College London. Kathleen's postdoctoral work was an investigation into the therapeutic uses of robots for children with autism spectrum conditions.

In 2013, she was part of the Digital Bridges Project, an innovative AHRC funded technology and arts collaboration between Watford Palace Theatre and the University of Cambridge.

Kathleen’s first manuscript on robots is contracted with Routledge: An Anthropology of Robots and AI: Annihilation Anxiety and Machines (Routledge 2015).

She has two books in press Sex Robots: The End of Love (Polity Press, 2018) and Challenging Sociality, Robots, Autism and Attachment (Palsgrave-Macmillan, 2018).
She is also the found of the Campaign Against Sex Robots - the campaign out of her work examining the problematic consequences of replacing human interpersonal relationships with machines. Kathleen is also an abolitionist-feminist.


  • 2012–present
    Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, UCL
  • 2014–present
    Senior research fellow in the Ethics of Robots, Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort


  • 2008 
    University of Cambridge, PhD


  • 2015
    An Anthropology of Robots and AI: Annihilation Anxiety and Machines, Routledge

Grants and Contracts

  • 2009
    British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship
    Research Fellow
    Funding Source:
    British Academy