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



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


About 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 21st of April 2022, DRAILS member Gaelle Fruy will present her research on “Liability for Defective Products in the Light of Connected Devices

Connected devices are now ubiquitous and their use is widespread among consumers. The risks of damage caused by these emerging digital technologies are real and therefore raise the question of the applicability of the Directive 85/374/EEC (“the Product Liability Directive”). Certain inherent characteristics of these technologies bring out the limits of key notions in the current defective product liability regime (such as the definitions of “product”, “default”, “producer”) and question whether the concept of “putting into circulation” remains relevant. A reform at the European level is under way and should be completed in the third quarter of this year. The presentation aims at outlining the risks related to the use of connected devices for consumers and explaining the limits of the current legal framework while commenting on the amendments considered by the European Commission.

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

Gaelle Fruy