Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem


Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem is the ethics of AI research group leader. She is professor of philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria.

Prof Ruttkamp-Bloem is a new member of the UNESCO World Commission for Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) for the period 2020-2023. She is the chairperson of the UNESCO Ad Hoc Expert Group (AHEG) on the ethics of artificial intelligence tasked to prepare a recommendation for a global instrument on the ethics of AI by the end of 2021.

Prof Ruttkamp-Bloem was elected corresponding member of the International Academy for the Philosophy of Science in August 2019. 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 Synthese Library Book Series.

She is a member of the bidding committee for the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa and the organising chair of the 2020 edition of the Southern African Conference for Artificial Intelligence Research (SACAIR2020). She is the founder of the CAIR/UP ‘Artificial Intelligence for Society’ Symposium Series and the ‘South African Philosophy of Science and Logic’ Colloquium Series.

Her research focuses on the ethics of artificial intelligence and the philosophy of science. In the ethics of artificial intelligence she works on themes in machine ethics, ethics of social robotics, data ethics, AI and sustainability in Africa, AI and children and trustworthy AI. In the philosophy of science her work is centred on scientific realism, the structure of scientific theories, and the role of machine learning in the discovery/justification debate in the philosophy of science. Her research in both the ethics of artificial intelligence and the philosophy of science includes application of non-classical logics to selected problems in these sub-disciplines.
University of Pretoria
  • CSIR
  • DSI
  • Covid-19