News and events Tilburg University

Meet TrusTee – Tilburg University is developing the world’s most reliable robot

Published: 14th November 2019 Last updated: 14th November 2019

Tilburg University is developing the most reliable robot and the most reliable artificial intelligence. We are working on a robot in which technology is employed that is as closely in line as possible with human values. A robot that takes into account what is good for the individual, for society, and for our planet as a whole. During the ‘Man-Machine & Values’ seminar that is to be held this afternoon, Ton Wilthagen will go into Tilburg University’s future-oriented research- and impact agenda.

Devil in device?

For the first time in human history, we are going  to be living and working together with ‘artefacts’: robots, artificial intelligence in many shapes and forms, such as (chat)bots and drones, which are neither human nor animal, but nonetheless increasingly autonomous, intelligent, and self-learning. This development raises fundamental questions: How to make this technology incorporate and reflect human values as closely as possible? Are we as humans really aware of what we find important? –  and do we in fact agree on that? How can we see to it that the digital world will be even better than the analog world? Or will this technology turn out to be a ‘devil in device’?

The contribution of humanities and social sciences

Driven by its expertise in the field of the humanities and the social sciences and its commitment to society, Tilburg University wants to develop and build the most reliable robot and the most reliable artificial intelligence. The social sciences and the humanities are indispensable for the development of this social technology. These disciplines already possess profound knowledge of how humans and society function, and they can deploy this knowledge in the robot society. Also, they are eminently knowledgeable where values are concerned and how these are or are not implemented and realized in practice.


At the “Man-Machine & Values” seminar taking place at the university this afternoon, this reliable technology can be met face to face: TrusTee.  During the seminar, Tilburg scientists and societal partners present and discuss the challenges and solutions in various fields. On the occasion of the seminar, Ton Wilthagen and Marieke Schoots have written a  digital essay in which TrusTee addresses us, and Tilburg University’s future-oriented research and impact agenda is gone into in more detail.

Meet TrusTee

Note to the editors

In this video Ton Wilthagen explains what Tilburg University intends to accomplish with Trustee. For more information, go to  If you have any questions, you can contact the press officers via, tel. +31 13 – 466 4000.