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Personal profile


We do not very well understand what justifies imposing risk on others. This partly explains the widespread and unquestioning acceptance of morally problematic traffic risks.”

Research profile

Jilles Smids is a Post-Doctoral researcher at the Philosophy& Ethics group at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His main area of research is applied ethics, in particular ethics of technology. He is fascinated with the problem of acceptable risk imposition: why is intentional killing almost always morally wrong, while imposing non-negligent risk of death is often considered morally permissible? His work focusses on the ethics of risk, traffic risks, the ethics of self-driving cars, the ethics of behaviour change technologies, the impact of robotization on meaningful work, blame and responsibility issues in human-robot collaboration, and robot ethics more generally.

Academic background

Jilles Smids studied Philosophy and Chemistry at Utrecht University. In 2018, he defended his PhD-thesis at the Eindhoven University of Technology. His thesis was on ethical issues of 'persuasive technology', or, behavior change technology. Currently, he works on the project "Robots in the warehouse”, which investigates how the introduction of robots into logistic warehouses might impact the meaningfulness of work and worker well-being, and related ethical issues.

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Research Output

  • 98 Citations
  • 7 Article
  • 1 Report
  • 1 Conference contribution
  • 1 Phd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

Automated cars meet human drivers: responsible human-robot coordination and the ethics of mixed traffic

Nyholm, S. & Smids, J., 2020, In : Ethics and Information Technology. p. 1-10 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
  • 7 Citations (Scopus)

    Can a robot be a good colleague?

    Nyholm, S. & Smids, J., 23 Dec 2019, In : Science and Engineering Ethics.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Is being "paid to endure" compatible with autonomy? paid research participation and five (rather than four) goods of work

    Smids, J. & Nyholm, S., 16 Aug 2019, In : The American Journal of Bioethics. 19, 9, p. 41-43 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Robots in the workplace: a threat to—or opportunity for—meaningful work?

    Smids, J., Nyholm, S. & Berkers, H., 1 Nov 2019, In : Philosophy & Technology.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)

    Persuasive technology, allocation of control, and mobility : an ethical analysis

    Smids, J., 13 Mar 2018, Eindhoven: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. 219 p.

    Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

    Open Access

    Press / Media

    Self-driving cars raise safety, ethical concerns

    Jilles Smids


    2 items of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment