What Should We Want From a Robot Ethic

There are at least three things we might mean by ethics in robotics: the ethical systems built into robots, the ethics of people who design and use robots, and the ethics of how people treat robots. This paper argues that the best approach to robot ethics is one which addresses all three of these, and…

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)…

Killers, Fridges, and Slaves: A Legal Journey in Robotics

This paper adopts a legal perspective to counter some exaggerations of today‚Äôs debate on the social understanding of robotics. According to a long and well-established tradition, there is in fact a relatively strong consensus among lawyers about some key notions such as, say, agency and liability in the current use of robots. However, dealing with…

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…

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.

What people assume about humanoid and animal-type robots: Cross-cultural analysis between Japan, Korea, and the United States

To broadly explore the rationale behind more socially acceptable robot design and to investigate the psychological aspects of social acceptance of robotics, a cross-cultural research instrument, the Robot Assumptions Questionnaire (RAQ), was administered to university students in Japan, Korea, and the United States, focusing on five factors relating to humanoid and animal-type robots: relative autonomy,…

Autonomous Weapons: Are You Sure These are Killer Robots? Can We Talk About It?

The rise of autonomous weapons is creating understandable concern for the international community as it is impossible to predict exactly what will happen with the technology. This uncertainty has led some to advocate for a preemptive ban on the technology. Yet the emergence of a new means of warfare is not a unique phenomenon and…