Received his B.Sc. degree in Computer Science(CS) from the Federal University of Pará (UFPa), Pará (Amazon), Brazil, in 1996 and M.Sc. and Ph.D. in CS from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, in 1999 and 2003, respectively. He is a CNPq Productivity Fellow (Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) for his contribution to Brazilian Scientific Progress. Edson is Professor at UFRGS, since 2005, and Head of ϕ-Robotics Research Group. UFRGS is one of the most important universities in Latin America. In particular, in the Informatics Institute, the Undergraduate Programs are first-ranked, while the Graduated Programs are among the top-five in Brazil.

Edson is an IEEE Senior Member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society(IEEE RAS) and IEEE Standards Association(IEEE SA). Over the past years, he has been working in different international initiatives related to Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Human Rights and Ethics as

  1. Member, UNESCO Ad Hoc Expert Group (AHEG) for the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

  2. Member, UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation;

  3. Advisor, The Carnegie AI & Equality Initiative at Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs;

  4. Advisor, AI Policy Labs;

  5. Member, CMinds Brain Hive;

  6. Senior Advisor, The Future Society;

  7. Fellow, EP3 Foundation;

  8. Member, Information Accessibility Working Group at UNESCO Information for All Programme;

  9. South American Ambassador, IEEE Tech Ethics Program;

  10. Chair, IEEE RAS/SA P7007 - Ontological Standard for Ethically Driven Robotics and Automation Systems Working Group;

  11. Vice-chair, IEEE RAS Ontologies for Robotics and Automation Working Group (ORA WG);

  12. Member, The CXI - Global Council on Extended Intelligence;

  13. Member, The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems;

  14. Member, IEEE RAS Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology;

  15. Former Academic Committee Member, Zhejiang University Robotics Institute;

  16. Former Vice-chair, IEEE RAS Standing Committee for Standards Activities;

  17. Former Associate Vice President, IEEE RAS Industry Activities Board;

  18. Former Member, IEEE TechEthics Ad Hoc Committee;

  19. Founding and Former Chair, IEEE South Brazil RAS Chapter.

On November, 23, 2021, we made history! 193 countries agreed on adopting the first global instrumento on Ethics of Artificial Intelligence elaborated by UNESCO. This instrument presents concrete actions to several domains impacted by AI. It puts human rights at the forefront of these actions to unleash the benefits and opportunities that AI can bring while mitigating its risks. I’m deeply proud to help crafting this document with an amazing high level group of experts appointed by UNESCO Director General, Ms. Azoulay in 2020. This work was pretty intense and rewarding. We have the real chance to break the power asymmetry in the domain and create a better future for all leaving no one behind. Press conference can be seen below

YouTube :

On September, 23, 2021, the Ontological Standard elaborated by IEEE 7007 Ontologies for Ethically Driven Robotics and Automation Working Group (IEEE 7007 WG) was officially approved by IEEE SA. The IEEE 7007 WG invested a lot of time over the past four years to conceptualize the components, identify their dependences and elaborate upon the formal representation, using formal Logics, for the following domains: Norms and Ethical Principles, Data Privacy and Protection, Transparency and Accountability, and Ethical Violation Management. I’m deeply proud to have the opportunity to act as chair of IEEE 7007 WG and work with an amazing team over four years. Due to the relevance of our work, the IEEE 7007 WG has been selected as a recipient of the IEEE SA Emerging Technology Award “For developing an innovative ontological standard on the ethics of artificial intelligence.”

On March, 11, 2020, UNESCO Director General, Ms. Azoulay invited me to join a high level group of experts to draft internationally applicable recommendations on ethical issues raised by the development and use of AI. This document was presented to various stakeholders at the national, sub-regional and regional levels in a wide consultation process for their comments and now it is under intergovernamental negotiation with possible adoption by UNESCO’s Member States at the next UNESCO’s General Conference in November, 2021. This document will be the very first global normative instrument in this domain. More information can be found at this link. Due to the relevance of this effort, UNESCO was recognized among best AI initiatives with social and ethical impact.

On June, 11, 2020, the UN Secretary-General lunched his Roadmap on Digital Cooperation, which is based on the recommendations of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel for Digital Cooperation and further informed by a series of roundtable discussions with key stakeholders from Governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, academic institutions, the technical community, and other relevant stakeholders. I’m very proud in seeing the impact of the recommendations we elaborated.

On June, 10, 2019, the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, launched worldwide its report entitled “The Age of Digital Interdependence” that discusses the world interconnectedness as a result of digital technology and how to manage the economic, social, cultural and political impacts of the digital transformation.For this launch, UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres together with the panel co-chairs were interviewed by Femi Oke, and at same day, members of the high level panel together with  UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres presented our findings to the plenary of the UNGA. Both events can be seen below.

YouTube :



In 2018, The UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres invited me to join the UN High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation co-chaired by Ms. Melinda Gates (USA) and Mr. Jack Ma (China). I’m deeply honored for being member of this Panel! I’m the third person (left-right) in the second row in the photo below.

In 2016, IEEE launched officially the document "Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision For Prioritizing Wellbeing With Artificial Intelligence And Autonomous Systems" which aims to provide a set of insights and recommendations about the ethical aspects involved in the development of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems. I’m very proud for being part of this team. If you want to know about this document and also about the initiative, please visit the link

In 2015, IEEE ORA WG published the very first IEEE RAS standard, called IEEE 1872-2015 Ontologies for Robotics and Automation, and was the recipient of the IEEE-SA Emerging Technology Award. Due to the relevance of this achievement, Edson received the IEEE SA Plaque of Appreciation and IEEE RAS Certificate of Appreciation for being the vice-chair of the IEEE ORA WG.



This standard was cited broadly including in the “The National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan” (pag. 32) elaborated by the US White House, in 2016.


“One example of an AI-relevant standard that has been developed is P1872-2015 (Standard Ontologies for Robotics and Automation), developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). This standard provides a systematic way of representing knowledge and a common set of terms and definitions. These allow for unambiguous knowledge transfer among humans, robots, and other artificial systems, as well as provide a foundational basis for the application of AI technologies to robotics.”

Among Edson’s achievements, he co-organized the book “Robótica Móvel” together with Roseli Romero (ICMC/USP), Fernando Osório (ICMC/USP) and Denis Wolff (ICMC/USP) that has won the Jabuti Award in the category Engenharias, Tecnologias e Informática. This award is the most important literary Award in Brazil.


In addition, Edson was guest editor of special issue "Ubiquitous Robotics" in Robotics and Autonomous Systems Journal/Elsevier; guest editor of special issue "Knowledge Driven Robotics and Manufacturing" for the Elsevier Robotics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing Journal; guest editor of special issue “Elderly Care Robotics – Technology and Ethics” for Springer Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems; co-chair of the Workshop on “Standardized Knowledge Representations and Ontologies for Robotics and Automation” at IEEE/RSJ IROS 2014, co-chair of the Workshop on "Robotics & Automation Technologies for Humanitarian Applications: Where we are & Where we can be" at IEEE ICRA 2015, co-chair of the Workshop on “Elderly Care Robotics – Technology and Ethics” at IEEE ICRA 2018, co-chair of the Workshop on “Collaboratively Working towards Ontology-based Standards for Robotics and Automation” at IEEE/RSJ IROS 2018 and co-organizer of IEEE-RAS Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge at IEEE ICRA since 2014.

Furthermore, he has several publications in high-ranked journals and conferences and also has been serving as member of program committee and reviewer boards in several conferences and journals. Edson is also reviewer for international funding agencies.

If you want to get in touch, please do not hesitate. My contact is

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

Instituto de Informática

Departamento de Informática Teórica
Bento Gonçalves 9500 Bloco IV
Agronomia – Porto Alegre
91501-970, RS – Brasil

Telefone: +55 51 3308 7127


Dr. Edson Prestes