Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem is professor and head of the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria. She is the coordinator of the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence Research Group at the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR) in South Africa, and co-chair of the Steering Committee for the Southern African Conference for AI Research (SACAIR).
In her philosophy of science research capacity, Emma is a corresponding member of the International Academy for the Philosophy of Science. She has been the elected South African representative at the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IUHPST) since 2014. She is a member of the editorial board of Springer’s respected Synthese Library Book Series and the editorial board of Acta Baltica: Historiae et Philosophiae Scientiarum. She was a member of Sixth Conference of the Spanish Society of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science (SLMFCE) in 2018 and is a member of the CLMPST 2023 Programme Committee.
In her capacity as an AI ethics policy researcher, Prof Ruttkamp-Bloem is a member of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA)-NEPAD Consultative Roundtable on Ethics in Africa and the current rapporteur of the UNESCO World Commission for Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST). She is the South African representative at the Responsible AI Network Africa (RAIN). She is a member of the advisory board of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Programme (Human Sciences) hosted by Umeå University in Sweden, of the advisory board of the Global AI Ethics Institute, and, as country advisor for South Africa, of the advisory board of the International Group of Artificial Intelligence (IGOAI). She is also a member of the advisory board of the international Z-Inspection® network that bases its assessments on the European Commission’s Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI .
As researcher in ethics of technology, she is the founder of the CAIR/UP ‘Artificial Intelligence for Society’ Symposium Series and the ‘South African Philosophy of Science and Technology’ Colloquium Series. She is also associate editor for the Journal of Science and Engineering Ethics.
She has a PhD in Philosophy in the domains of mathematical logic and the philosophy of science. Her thesis focused on formulating a realist analysis of the structure of scientific theories within the framework of mathematical model theory. Currently, her research focuses on the ethics of artificial intelligence and issues in the intersection between the scientific realism debate and the debate on the structure of scientific theories in the philosophy of science. In the ethics of artificial intelligence, she works on themes in the philosophy of technology relating to human-technology relations, and themes in machine ethics, the ethics of social robotics, and data ethics. In the context of policy research, her research focuses on generating culturally sensitive policies for trustworthy AI technologies while aiming for global regulation. In the philosophy of science, her work is centred on debates in scientific realism, the structure of scientific theories, and the status and role of machine learning-based methodologies in the discovery/justification debate in the philosophy of science. Her research in both the ethics of artificial intelligence and the philosophy of science include application of non-classical logics to selected problems in these sub-disciplines.