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ICRA 2023



Lynne Parker

Lynne Parker

Associate Vice Chancellor, University of Tennessee
United States

Presnetation - The Societal Implications of Social Robots: Balancing Opportunities and Challenges

Society has awakened to the possibilities and implications of AI-driven technologies. What does this mean for social robots? As technologists, we often emphasize the benefits of new socially-capable robots without studying public perception or potential ways the technology could be misunderstood or misused. This talk will explore opportunities and challenges for advancing beneficial social robots in ways that are socially acceptable.


Dr. Lynne E. Parker is Associate Vice Chancellor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), and Director of the AI Tennessee Initiative, which is positioning the University and the state of Tennessee as a national and global leader in the data-intensive knowledge economy. Prior to this role, she led national AI policy efforts for four years (2018-2022) in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, serving as Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Founding Director of the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office, and Assistant Director for AI. She also served as co-chair of the Congressionally-directed National AI Research Resource Task Force, aims to democratize access to the computational and data infrastructure needed for AI research. She served for two years (2015-2016) at the National Science Foundation as Division Director for Information and Intelligent Systems. In these roles across three Administrations, she led the development of numerous landmark national AI policies bolstering research, governance, education and workforce training, international engagement, and the Federal use of AI.

Dr. Parker joined the UTK faculty in 2002 and is an expert on distributed and intelligent robot systems, human-robot interaction, and AI, having published extensively in these and related areas. She previously worked for several years as a Distinguished Research and Development Staff Member and Group Leader at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She has received numerous awards for research, teaching, and service, and is a Fellow of AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence), AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), and IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers); and a Distinguished Member of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery). Dr. Parker earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.