Social Robots: Human-Machine Configurations – Transformations Journal No. 29, 2017

Human-machine relationships are being transformed by robots increasingly performing social roles such as teachers, carers and companions. This arrival of social robots is challenging understandings of human-machine relationships and generating diverse aesthetic, ethical and political debates. Matters of interest include asymmetries in human-robot relationships, the co-constitution of humans and robots, the place of robot labour,…

Social geographies II Robots

This report examines how social geographers are engaging with the questions that robots and robotic technologies provoke. First, it discusses Marxist analyses of machines and troubles the role that robots play in social production and reproduction. Second, robots as actors in assemblages of sociospatial relations are interrogated for their role in state violence. Third, the…

Seeing is comforting: Effects of teleoperator visibility in robot-mediated health care

Teleoperated robots can be used to provide medical care to patients in infectious disease outbreaks, alleviating workers from being in dangerous infectious zones longer than absolutely needed. Nevertheless, patients' reactions to this technology have not been tested. We test three hypotheses related to patients' comfort and trust of the operator and robot in a simulated…

Artificial agents, good care, and modernity

When is it ethically acceptable to use artificial agents in health care? This article articulates some criteria for good care and then discusses whether machines as artificial agents that take over care tasks meet these criteria. Particular attention is paid to intuitions about the meaning of 'care', 'agency', and 'taking over', but also to the…

The crying shame of robot nannies: An ethical appraisal

An ethical appraisal of the possibility of part or full-time replacement of primary caregivers by robots, including implications for neglect of children, possible physical harm, human rights issues, privacy issues, robot use of restraint, deception of children, accountability, and consequences for the psychological and emotional well being of children.