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…

Accountable Algorithms

Many important decisions historically made by people are now made by computers. Algorithms count votes, approve loan and credit card applications, target citizens or neighborhoods for police scrutiny, select taxpayers for an IRS audit, and grant or deny immigration visas.The accountability mechanisms and legal standards that govern such decision processes have not kept pace with…

A Legal Theory for Autonomous Artificial Agents

As corporations and government agencies replace human employees with online customer service and automated phone systems, we become accustomed to doing business with nonhuman agents. If artificial intelligence (AI) technology advances as today's leading researchers predict, these agents may soon function with such limited human input that they appear to act independently. When they achieve…

The ethics of algorithms: Mapping the debate

In information societies, operations, decisions and choices previously left to humans are increasingly delegated to algorithms, which may advise, if not decide, about how data should be interpreted and what actions should be taken as a result. More and more often, algorithms mediate social processes, business transactions, governmental decisions, and how we perceive, understand, and…

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!: HRI and the Automation of Police Use of Force

This paper considers the ethical challenges facing the development of robotic systems that deploy violent and lethal force against humans. While the use of violent and lethal force is not usually acceptable for humans or robots, police officers are authorized by the state to use violent and lethal force in certain circumstances in order to…

Killer Robots on the Battlefield

On April 11, member states at the United Nations will meet at another informal meeting of experts under the auspices of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, a treaty that prohibits weapons deemed to have indiscriminate effects or to cause excessive injury. They are meeting for the third time in Geneva to consider whether to…

Assessing the Risk of Artificial Intelligence

One sector that saw the huge disruptive potential of AI from an early stage is the military. The weaponization of AI will represent a paradigm shift in the way wars are fought, with profound consequences for international security and stability. Serious investment in autonomous weapon systems (AWS) began a few years ago; in July 2016…

War Torts: Accountability for Autonomous Weapons

Unlike conventional weapons or remotely operated drones, autonomous weapon systems can independently select and engage targets. As a result, they may take actions that look like war crimes—the sinking of a cruise ship, the destruction of a village, the downing of a passenger jet—without an y individual acting intentionally or recklessly. Absent such willful action,…

Autonomous Weapon Systems: Implications of Increasing Autonomy in the Critical Functions of Weapons

Debates on autonomous weapon systems have expanded significantly in recent years in diplomatic, military, scientific, academic and public forums. In March 2014, the ICRC convened an international expert meeting to consider the relevant technical, military, legal and humanitarian issues.1 Expert discussions at a Meeting of Experts convened by the High Contracting Parties to the UN…

Robots in the Home: What Will We Have Agreed To?

This essay begins by identifying the legally salient features of home robots: the aspects of home robots that will likely drive the most interesting legal questions. It then explores how current privacy law governing both law enforcement and private parties addresses a number of questions raised by home robots. First, how does privacy law treat…

After the Blast

After the Blast, starring Cristin Milioti, is a science fiction play whose eight characters include a robot. The premise is that the surface of the earth has been laid waste by a nuclear exchange, the consequences of which forced survivors to seek shelter underground. The male survivors devote themselves to fixing the environment while the…