When will people regard robots as morally competent social partners?

We propose that moral competence consists of five distinct but related elements: (1) having a system of norms; (2) mastering a moral vocabulary; (3) exhibiting moral cognition and affect; (4) exhibiting moral decision making and action; and (5) engaging in moral communication. We identify some of the likely triggers that may convince people to (justifiably)…

Are We Ready for Sex Robots?

Sex robots are gaining a remarkable amount of attention in current discussions about technology and the future of human relationships. To help understand what kinds of relationships people will have with these robots, empirical data about people's views of sex robots is a necessary contribution to these debates. We report the results of the first…

The Inherent Dangers of Unidirectional Emotional Bonds between Humans and Social Robots

Emotional dependence on social robots is different from other human dependencies on technology (e.g., different both in kind and quality from depending on one’s cell phone, wrist watch, or PDA). To be able to understand the difference and the potential ramifications of building complex social robots that are freely deployed in human societies, we have…