Robot Caregivers: Harbingers of Expanded Freedom for All?

As we near a time when robots may serve a vital function by becoming caregivers, it is important to examine the ethical implications of this development. By applying the capabilities approach as a guide to both the design and use of robot caregivers, we hope that this will maximize opportunities to preserve or expand freedom…

Health Care, Capabilities, and AI Assistive Technologies

Scenarios involving the introduction of artificially intelligent (AI) assistive technologies in health care practices raise several ethical issues. In this paper, I discuss four objections to introducing AI assistive technologies in health care practices as replacements for human care. I analyse them as demands for felt care, good care, private care, and real care. I…

On the ethical framing of research programs in robotics

Robotic systems and technologies step out of research laboratories jointly with information about the long-term goals of technological inquiry they are lined up with and about the short-term objectives guiding daily laboratory activities. These various ingredients play crucial roles in the pursuit of technological research programs. A comprehensive ethical framing of technological research programs is…

The Rights of Machines: Caring for Robotic Care-Givers

Work in the field of machine medical ethics, especially as it applies to healthcare robots, generally focuses attention on controlling the decision-making capabilities and actions of autonomous machines for the sake of respecting the rights of human beings. Absent from much of the current literature is a consideration of the other side of this issue.…