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…

On banning autonomous weapon systems: human rights, automation, and the dehumanization of lethal decision-making

AbstractThis article considers the recent literature concerned with establishing an international prohibition on autonomous weapon systems. It seeks to address concerns expressed by some scholars that such a ban might be problematic for various reasons. It argues in favour of a theoretical foundation for such a ban based on human rights and humanitarian principles that…

FCJ-187 The Droning of Experience

The figure of the drone is invoked as a contemporary avatar for the logics of distributed networking at a distance, automated sense-making and automated response associated with interactive platforms more generally. The case of affective apps is forwarded as an example of the generalized logic of ‘droning’ in the register of control via the modulation…

The Ethical Landscape of Robotics

In this article, we highlight the possible benefits, as well potential threats, related to the widespread use of robots. We follow the view that a robot cannot be analyzed on its own without taking into consideration the complex sociotechnical nexus of today's societies and that high-tech devices, such as robots, may influence how societies develop…

Konnichiwa robot, sayonara human? – Construction and domestication of robots in Japan

This thesis explores the robots of Japan in a historical and cultural context, to see how they are co-produced among a wide variety of actors in a network. It is seen both from the creator side, through their scripting of what a robot should be understood and used as, and also from the user-side, through…

Granny and the robots: Ethical issues in robot care for the elderly

The growing proportion of elderly people in society, together with recent advances in robotics, makes the use of robots in elder care increasingly likely. We outline developments in the areas of robot applications for assisting the elderly and their caretakers, for monitoring their health and safety, and for providing them with companionship. Despite the possible…

Robots and human dignity: A consideration of the effects of robot care on the dignity of older people

This paper explores the relationship between dignity and robot care for older people. It highlights the disquiet that is often expressed about failures to maintain the dignity of vulnerable older people, but points out some of the contradictory uses of the word ‘dignity’. Certain authors have resolved these contradictions by identifying different senses of dignity;…

Is the Concept of an Ethical Governor Philosophically Sound?

In a series of publications, Ronald Arkin and his team (Arkin, 2009; Arkin et al., 2009) have proposed the concept of an ethical governor, which is supposed to effectively control and enforce the ethical use of lethal force by robots on the battlefield. The idea of an ethical governor, although presently of little influence on…

When is a Robot a Moral Agent ?

In this paper I argue that in certain circumstances robots can be seen as real moral agents. A distinction is made between persons and moral agents such that it is not necessary for a robot to have personhood in order to be a moral agent. I detail three requirements for a robot to be seen…