This category discusses robots that interact and build social relations with humans but also with other robots. These include, for example, socially assistive robots, personified robots, and social robots. This category also includes viewpoints of sociologists on robots.

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Positive Computing

In this book, Rafael Calvo and Dorian Peters investigate what they term positive computing; the design and development of technology to support psychological well-being and human potential. Calvo and Peters explain that technologists growing interest in social good is part of a larger public concern about how our digital experience affects our emotions and our…

Techno-animism in Japan: Shinto Cosmograms, Actor-network Theory, and the Enabling Powers of Non-human Agencies

In a wide range of contemporary debates on Japanese cultures of technological practice, brief reference is often made to distinct Shinto legacies, as forming an animist substratum of indigenous spiritual beliefs and cosmological imaginations. Japan has been described as a land of Shinto-infused ‘techno-animism’: exhibiting a ‘polymorphous perversity’ that resolutely ignores boundaries between human, animal,…

Intersection of “Tokku” Special Zone, Robots, and the Law: A Case Study on Legal Impacts to Humanoid Robots

The unique “Tokku” Special Zone for Robot-ics Empirical Testing and Development (RT special zone) originated in Japan. Since 2003, the world’s first RT special zone had already established in Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka City and Kitakyushu City. At that time, Takanishi Laboratory, Humanoid Robotics Institute of Waseda University had conducted many empirical testing within several different…

Robotic Nudges: The Ethics of Engineering a More Socially Just Human Being

Robots are becoming an increasingly pervasive feature of our personal lives. As a result, there is growing importance placed on examining what constitutes appropriate behavior when they interact with human beings. In this paper, we discuss whether companion robots should be permitted to “nudge” their human users in the direction of being “more ethical”. More…

A space of one’s own: Autonomy, privacy, liberty

The value of a negatively defined private space is defended as important for the development of personal autonomy. It is argued that negative liberty is problematic when split off from its connection with this ideal. An ethical interpretation of personal autonomy is proposed according to which a private space is one of autonomy’s preconditions. This…

Of, For, and By the People: The Legal Lacuna of Synthetic Persons

Conferring legal personhood on purely synthetic entities is a very real legal possibility, one under consideration presently by the European Union. We show here that such legislative action would be morally unnecessary and legally troublesome. While AI legal personhood may have emotional or economic appeal, so do many superficially desirable hazards against which the law…

Automated Experiments on Ad Privacy Settings: A Tale of Opacity, Choice, and Discrimination

To partly address people's concerns over web tracking, Google has created the Ad Settings webpage to provide information about and some choice over the profiles Google creates on users. We present AdFisher, an automated tool that explores how user behaviors, Google's ads, and Ad Settings interact. AdFisher can run browser-based experiments and analyze data using…

One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100)

This report is the first in a series to be issued at regular intervals as a part of the One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100). Starting from a charge given by the AI100 Standing Committee to consider the likely influences of AI in a typical North American city by the year 2030, the…

Institutional Options for Robot Governance

Robots, which are generally understood as systems that take in information about the world, process that information, and can then act on the world, represent an enormous technological and economic opportunity that will change society in innumerable and unpredictable ways. Because they are non-human but can act on the world, new legal frameworks will be…

Robot Sex

Sexbots are coming. Given the pace of technological advances, it is inevitable that realistic robots specifically designed for people's sexual gratification will be developed in the not-too-distant future. Despite popular culture's fascination with the topic, and the emergence of the much-publicized Campaign Against Sex Robots, there has been little academic research on the social, philosophical,…

Love and Sex with Robots

David Levy argues that the entities we once deemed cold and mechanical will soon become the objects of real companionship and human desire. He shows how automata have evolved and how human interactions with technology have changed over the years. Levy explores many aspects of human relationships—the reasons we fall in love, why we form…

Why robot nannies probably won’t do much psychological damage

While the issue of robot child care is obviously of critical importance, an appraisal will not benefit either the field or society if it unrealistically exaggerates a threat, any more so than if it unrealistically trivialises danger. Thus while I largely concur with Sharkey and Sharkey (hereafter S&S) on many substantial and important points, I…

The Trouble with Algorithmic Decisions: An Analytic Road Map to Examine Efficiency and Fairness in Automated and Opaque Decision Making

We are currently witnessing a sharp rise in the use of algorithmic decision-making tools. In these instances, a new wave of policy concerns is set forth. This article strives to map out these issues, separating the wheat from the chaff. It aims to provide policy makers and scholars with a comprehensive framework for approaching these…