Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society (DRAILS)

Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society (DRAILS)


The DRAILS Research Group or Research Group on Data, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Law & Society is a joint initiative of the CRIDES and CPDR at UCLouvain and of researchers at USL-Bruxelles which aims at bringing together scholars and experts in the social sciences and the humanities in order to investigate emerging challenges raised by digitalization and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their respective fields of research.

DRAILS works as a multidisciplinary platform of exchanges between its members. The diversity of their fields of expertise (law, philosophy, ethics, economy, sociology, etc.) should allow for a comprehensive apprehension of the different dimensions of digitalization as a societal phenomenon.

Areas under current investigations cover issues raised by platforms (content moderation, deepfakes, fake news, rating systems), Artificial Intelligence (legal status, transparency and explainability, liability), Data (access, portability, profiling), cybersecurity and e-Governance.

The presentations and open discussions on various topics take place at regular workshops and seminars, or at conferences more broadly open to the public and during which DRAILS members present either their research results or novel developments occurring in their fields of expertise.

While its main research focus lies within the fields of social sciences and the humanities, DRAILS is also open to collaborating with experts in computer science, engineering and other scholars in the Science and Technology Sector for a better chance at understanding the digital transformation of society. 

Definition of "Drails" provided by Knight's New Mechanical Dictionary: A Description of Tools, Instruments, Machines, Processes, and Engineering. With Indexical References to Technical Journals (1876-1880.), p. 271.
Definition of “Drails” provided by Knight’s New Mechanical Dictionary: A Description of Tools, Instruments, Machines, Processes, and Engineering. With Indexical References to Technical Journals (1876-1880.), p. 271.

Next event

On the 15th of June, we will have the chance to host Paul Belleflamme for a workshop dedicated to the presentation of its last book: The Economics of Platforms. 

Paul Belleflamme will first offer a 20/30 mins presentation, followed by a Q/A session. 

The workshop will be held online. Attendance is free.
You can register here.

Book description

Digital platforms controlled by Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Tencent and Uber have transformed not only the ways we do business, but also the very nature of people’s everyday lives. It is of vital importance that we understand the economic principles governing how these platforms operate. This book explains the driving forces behind any platform business with a focus on network effects. The authors use short case studies and real-world applications to explain key concepts such as how platforms manage network effects and which price and non-price strategies they choose. This self-contained text is the first to offer a systematic and formalized account of what platforms are and how they operate, concisely incorporating path-breaking insights in economics over the last twenty years.

About Paul Belleflamme:

Paul Belleflamme graduated in economics at the University of Namur (1991), where he received his doctoral degree in economics (1997). He also holds a Master of Arts in Economics from Columbia University (1992). In 1998, he became lecturer in economics at Queen Mary, University of London, where he obtained a Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) in November 2001. Since September 2002, Paul is professor of economics at UCLouvain, where he is attached to the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) and to the Louvain School of Management (LSM). Between January 2017 and August 2018, Paul took a leave of absence from UCLouvain so as to acquire new experiences; during that period, he was professor at AMSE (Aix-Marseille School of Economics) and visiting professor at Kedge Business School.

Paul’s main research area is theoretical industrial organization, with a special focus on innovation in the digital economy (which is also the main topic of his blog, Paul has published widely in leading economics journals and, with Martin Peitz, is the author of Industrial Organization: Markets and Strategies (Cambridge University Press, 2010 and 2015). Paul is a fellow of the CESifo Research Network. He is associate editor of Journal of Economics, co-editor of E-conomics and managing editor of Regards Economiques. He also served as associate editor of Information Economics and Policy, and of Review of Network Economics.

P. Belleflamme