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Sometimes it's hard to be a robot: A call for action on the ethics of abusing artificial agents
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 19:23 authored by Blay Whitby
This is a call for informed debate on the ethical issues raised by the forthcoming widespread use of robots, particularly in domestic settings. Research shows that humans can sometimes become very abusive towards computers and robots particularly when they are seen as human-like and this raises important ethical issues. The designers of robotic systems need to take an ethical stance on at least three specific questions. Firstly is it acceptable to treat artefacts - particularly human-like artefacts - in ways that we would consider it morally unacceptable to treat humans? Second, if so, just how much sexual or violent 'abuse' of an artificial agent should we allow before we censure the behaviour of the abuser? Thirdly is it ethical for designers to attempt to 'design out' abusive behaviour by users? Conclusions on these and related issues should be used to modify professional codes as a matter of urgency.
JournalInteracting with Computers
Department affiliated with
- Informatics Publications
NotesPublished in Special Issue: On the Abuse and Misuse of Social Agents Edited by Sheryl Brahnam and Antonella De Angeli. This issue also includes two articles responding to my article.
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