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  1. Value Sensitive Design to Achieve the UN SDGs with AI: A Case of Elderly Care Robots.Steven Umbrello, Marianna Capasso, Maurizio Balistreri, Alberto Pirni & Federica Merenda - 2021 - Minds and Machines 31 (3):395-419.
    Healthcare is becoming increasingly automated with the development and deployment of care robots. There are many benefits to care robots but they also pose many challenging ethical issues. This paper takes care robots for the elderly as the subject of analysis, building on previous literature in the domain of the ethics and design of care robots. Using the value sensitive design approach to technology design, this paper extends its application to care robots by integrating the values of care, values that (...)
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  • Service Robots, Care Ethics, and Design.A. van Wynsberghe - 2016 - Ethics and Information Technology 18 (4):311-321.
    It should not be a surprise in the near future to encounter either a personal or a professional service robot in our homes and/or our work places: according to the International Federation for Robots, there will be approx 35 million service robots at work by 2018. Given that individuals will interact and even cooperate with these service robots, their design and development demand ethical attention. With this in mind I suggest the use of an approach for incorporating ethics into the (...)
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  • The Concept of Social Dignity as a Yardstick to Delimit Ethical Use of Robotic Assistance in the Care of Older Persons.Nadine Andrea Felber, Félix Pageau, Athena McLean & Tenzin Wangmo - forthcoming - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy.
    With robots being introduced into caregiving, particularly for older persons, various ethical concerns are raised. Among them is the fear of replacing human caregiving. While ethical concepts like well-being, autonomy, and capabilities are often used to discuss these concerns, this paper brings forth the concept of social dignity to further develop guidelines concerning the use of robots in caregiving. By social dignity, we mean that a person’s perceived dignity changes in response to certain interactions and experiences with other persons. In (...)
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  • We Need to Talk About Deception in Social Robotics!Amanda Sharkey & Noel Sharkey - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):309-316.
    Although some authors claim that deception requires intention, we argue that there can be deception in social robotics, whether or not it is intended. By focusing on the deceived rather than the deceiver, we propose that false beliefs can be created in the absence of intention. Supporting evidence is found in both human and animal examples. Instead of assuming that deception is wrong only when carried out to benefit the deceiver, we propose that deception in social robotics is wrong when (...)
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  • Human Rights of Users of Humanlike Care Automata.Lantz Fleming Miller - 2020 - Human Rights Review 21 (2):181-205.
    Care is more than dispensing pills or cleaning beds. It is about responding to the entire patient. What is called “bedside manner” in medical personnel is a quality of treating the patient not as a mechanism but as a being—much like the caregiver—with desires, ideas, dreams, aspirations, and the gamut of mental and emotional character. As automata, answering an increasing functional need in care, are designed to enact care, the pressure is on their becoming more humanlike to carry out the (...)
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  • “Oh, Dignity too?” Said the Robot: Human Dignity as the Basis for the Governance of Robotics.Lexo Zardiashvili & Eduard Fosch-Villaronga - 2020 - Minds and Machines 30 (1):121-143.
    Healthcare robots enable practices that seemed far-fetched in the past. Robots might be the solution to bridge the loneliness that the elderly often experience; they may help wheelchair users walk again, or may help navigate the blind. European Institutions, however, acknowledge that human contact is an essential aspect of personal care and that the insertion of robots could dehumanize caring practices. Such instances of human–robot interactions raise the question to what extent the use and development of robots for healthcare applications (...)
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  • Could Robots Strengthen the Sense of Autonomy of Older People Residing in Assisted Living Facilities?—A Future-Oriented Study.Jari Pirhonen, Helinä Melkas, Arto Laitinen & Satu Pekkarinen - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (2):151-162.
    There is an urge to introduce high technology and robotics in care settings. Assisted living is the fastest growing form of older adults’ long-term care. Resident autonomy has become the watchword for good care. This article sheds light on the potential effects of care robotics on the sense of autonomy of older people in AL. Three aspects of the residents’ sense of autonomy are of particular interest: interaction-based sense of autonomy, coping-based sense of autonomy, and potential-based sense of autonomy. Ethnographical (...)
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  • Robots in the Workplace: a Threat to—or Opportunity for—Meaningful Work?Jilles Smids, Sven Nyholm & Hannah Berkers - 2020 - Philosophy and Technology 33 (3):503-522.
    The concept of meaningful work has recently received increased attention in philosophy and other disciplines. However, the impact of the increasing robotization of the workplace on meaningful work has received very little attention so far. Doing work that is meaningful leads to higher job satisfaction and increased worker well-being, and some argue for a right to access to meaningful work. In this paper, we therefore address the impact of robotization on meaningful work. We do so by identifying five key aspects (...)
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  • A Tale of Two Deficits: Causality and Care in Medical AI.Melvin Chen - 2020 - Philosophy and Technology 33 (2):245-267.
    In this paper, two central questions will be addressed: ought we to implement medical AI technology in the medical domain? If yes, how ought we to implement this technology? I will critically engage with three options that exist with respect to these central questions: the Neo-Luddite option, the Assistive option, and the Substitutive option. I will first address key objections on behalf of the Neo-Luddite option: the Objection from Bias, the Objection from Artificial Autonomy, the Objection from Status Quo, and (...)
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  • The Development of Assistive Dementia Technology That Accounts for the Values of Those Affected by its Use.Oliver K. Burmeister - 2016 - Ethics and Information Technology 18 (3):185-198.
    Developing technology that accounts for values has been achieved in many areas, including security, gaming, finance, engineering, and many more. The main methodological approach has been that of value sensitive design. But most of the work to date has been on the first of its three stages. The focus of this article is on advances related to its second stage, empirical investigation, and in particular the impact of contextual understanding in that stage. Although lessons can be learnt from other domains, (...)
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  • When Should We Use Care Robots? The Nature-of-Activities Approach.Filippo Santoni de Sio & Aimee van Wynsberghe - 2016 - Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (6):1745-1760.
    When should we use care robots? In this paper we endorse the shift from a simple normative approach to care robots ethics to a complex one: we think that one main task of a care robot ethics is that of analysing the different ways in which different care robots may affect the different values at stake in different care practices. We start filling a gap in the literature by showing how the philosophical analysis of the nature of healthcare activities can (...)
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  • Robot Care Ethics Between Autonomy and Vulnerability: Coupling Principles and Practices in Autonomous Systems for Care.Alberto Pirni, Maurizio Balistreri, Steven Umbrello, Marianna Capasso & Federica Merenda - 2021 - Frontiers in Robotics and AI 8 (654298):1-11.
    Technological developments involving robotics and artificial intelligence devices are being employed evermore in elderly care and the healthcare sector more generally, raising ethical issues and practical questions warranting closer considerations of what we mean by “care” and, subsequently, how to design such software coherently with the chosen definition. This paper starts by critically examining the existing approaches to the ethical design of care robots provided by Aimee van Wynsberghe, who relies on the work on the ethics of care by Joan (...)
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  • Artificial Intelligence for Good Health: A Scoping Review of the Ethics Literature.Jennifer Gibson, Vincci Lui, Nakul Malhotra, Jia Ce Cai, Neha Malhotra, Donald J. Willison, Ross Upshur, Erica Di Ruggiero & Kathleen Murphy - 2021 - BMC Medical Ethics 22 (1):1-17.
    BackgroundArtificial intelligence has been described as the “fourth industrial revolution” with transformative and global implications, including in healthcare, public health, and global health. AI approaches hold promise for improving health systems worldwide, as well as individual and population health outcomes. While AI may have potential for advancing health equity within and between countries, we must consider the ethical implications of its deployment in order to mitigate its potential harms, particularly for the most vulnerable. This scoping review addresses the following question: (...)
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  • Social Robots and the Risks to Reciprocity.Aimee van Wynsberghe - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-7.
    A growing body of research can be found in which roboticists are designing for reciprocity as a key construct for successful human–robot interaction. Given the centrality of reciprocity as a component for our moral lives, this paper confronts the possibility of what things would look like if the benchmark to achieve perceived reciprocity were accomplished. Through an analysis of the value of reciprocity from the care ethics tradition the richness of reciprocity as an inherent value is revealed: on the micro-level, (...)
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  • Autonomous Weapons Systems, Killer Robots and Human Dignity.Amanda Sharkey - 2019 - Ethics and Information Technology 21 (2):75-87.
    One of the several reasons given in calls for the prohibition of autonomous weapons systems (AWS) is that they are against human dignity (Asaro, 2012; Docherty, 2014; Heyns, 2017; Ulgen, 2016). However there have been criticisms of the reliance on human dignity in arguments against AWS (Birnbacher, 2016; Pop, 2018; Saxton, 2016). This paper critically examines the relationship between human dignity and autonomous weapons systems. Three main types of objection to AWS are identified; (i) arguments based on technology and the (...)
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  • Societal and Ethical Issues of Digitization.Lambèr Royakkers, Jelte Timmer, Linda Kool & Rinie van Est - 2018 - Ethics and Information Technology 20 (2):127-142.
    In this paper we discuss the social and ethical issues that arise as a result of digitization based on six dominant technologies: Internet of Things, robotics, biometrics, persuasive technology, virtual & augmented reality, and digital platforms. We highlight the many developments in the digitizing society that appear to be at odds with six recurring themes revealing from our analysis of the scientific literature on the dominant technologies: privacy, autonomy, security, human dignity, justice, and balance of power. This study shows that (...)
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  • Exploring the Link Between Human Rights, the Capability Approach and Corporate Responsibility.César González-Cantón, Sonia Boulos & Pablo Sánchez-Garrido - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 160 (4):865-879.
    The capability approach is gaining momentum as a theory of corporate responsibility and business ethics at a time when the UN Guiding Principles have become a most important framework. A novel approach is now emerging that seeks to understand and specify human rights obligations of businesses within the framework provided by the capability approach. This article partially examines the triad corporate responsibility–human rights–capability approach by exploring the relationship between human rights and capabilities. Thus, it offers conceptual and practical implications for (...)
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  • Can We Program or Train Robots to Be Good?Amanda Sharkey - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (4):283-295.
    As robots are deployed in a widening range of situations, it is necessary to develop a clearer position about whether or not they can be trusted to make good moral decisions. In this paper, we take a realistic look at recent attempts to program and to train robots to develop some form of moral competence. Examples of implemented robot behaviours that have been described as 'ethical', or 'minimally ethical' are considered, although they are found to only operate in quite constrained (...)
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  • Should We Welcome Robot Teachers?Amanda J. C. Sharkey - 2016 - Ethics and Information Technology 18 (4):283-297.
    Current uses of robots in classrooms are reviewed and used to characterise four scenarios: Robot as Classroom Teacher; Robot as Companion and Peer; Robot as Care-eliciting Companion; and Telepresence Robot Teacher. The main ethical concerns associated with robot teachers are identified as: privacy; attachment, deception, and loss of human contact; and control and accountability. These are discussed in terms of the four identified scenarios. It is argued that classroom robots are likely to impact children’s’ privacy, especially when they masquerade as (...)
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  • Power Influences Upon Technology Design for Age-Related Cognitive Decline Using the VSD Framework.Oliver K. Burmeister & David Kreps - 2018 - Ethics and Information Technology (1):95-98.
    Implicit in the value sensitive design (VSD) approach is a concern for understanding, and where possible, disrupting problematic power relationships. Yet an awareness of the issues and ethics of power relations is a pre-requisite for such a concern to bear fruit. This article provides some insight into the issues, and through a case study of technology design to support care arrangements for age-related cognitive decline, illustrates how finding a satisfactory resolution can be particularly troublesome.
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  • Robots Responding to Care Needs? A Multitasking Care Robot Pursued for 25 Years, Available Products Offer Simple Entertainment and Instrumental Assistance.Lina Van Aerschot & Jaana Parviainen - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (3):247-256.
    Twenty-five years ago, robotics guru Joseph Engelberger had a mission to motivate research teams all over the world to design the ‘Elderly Care Giver’, a multitasking personal robot assistant for everyday care needs in old age. In this article, we discuss how this vision of omnipotent care robots has influenced the design strategies of care robotics, the development of R&D initiatives and ethics research on use of care robots. Despite the expectations of robots revolutionizing care of older people, the role (...)
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  • Care Robots, Crises of Capitalism, and the Limits of Human Caring.Mercer E. Gary - 2021 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 14 (1):19-48.
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  • False Friends and False Coinage.Alexis Elder - 2015 - Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 45 (3):248-254.
    In this paper, an analogy that Aristotle drew between false friends and false coinage is leveraged to identify ethically important features of cases involving so-called sociable robots. The use of such robots to care for the elderly and disabled poses both benefits and costs. Although a uniform verdict on the ethical use of these robots is unlikely to be forthcoming, owing to the importance of context and wide array of variables that can influence assessment of a situation, progress can be (...)
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  • Towards a New Scale for Assessing Attitudes Towards Social Robots.Malene Flensborg Damholdt, Christina Vestergaard, Marco Nørskov, Raul Hakli, Stefan Larsen & Johanna Seibt - 2020 - Interaction Studies. Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies / Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies 21 (1):24-56.
    Background: The surge in the development of social robots gives rise to an increased need for systematic methods of assessing attitudes towards robots. Aim: This study presents the development of a questionnaire for assessing attitudinal stance towards social robots: the ASOR. Methods: The 37-item ASOR questionnaire was developed by a task-force with members from different disciplines. It was founded on theoretical considerations of how social robots could influence five different aspects of relatedness. Results: Three hundred thirty-nine people responded to the (...)
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  • Drones in Humanitarian Contexts, Robot Ethics, and the Human–Robot Interaction.Aimee van Wynsberghe & Tina Comes - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (1):43-53.
    There are two dominant trends in the humanitarian care of 2019: the ‘technologizing of care’ and the centrality of the humanitarian principles. The concern, however, is that these two trends may conflict with one another. Faced with the growing use of drones in the humanitarian space there is need for ethical reflection to understand if this technology undermines humanitarian care. In the humanitarian space, few agree over the value of drone deployment; one school of thought believes drones can provide a (...)
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  • Living with the Animals: Animal or Robotic Companions for the Elderly in Smart Homes?Dirk Preuß & Friederike Legal - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (6):407-410.
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  • The Future of Value Sensitive Design.Batya Friedman, David Hendry, Steven Umbrello, Jeroen Van Den Hoven & Daisy Yoo - 2020 - Paradigm Shifts in ICT Ethics: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference ETHICOMP 2020.
    In this panel, we explore the future of value sensitive design (VSD). The stakes are high. Many in public and private sectors and in civil society are gradually realizing that taking our values seriously implies that we have to ensure that values effectively inform the design of technology which, in turn, shapes people’s lives. Value sensitive design offers a highly developed set of theory, tools, and methods to systematically do so.
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  • A Paradigm Shift for Robot Ethics: From HRI to Human–Robot–System Interaction.Aimee van Wynsberghe & Shuhong Li - 2019 - Medicolegal and Bioethics:11-21.
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  • Robots in Aged Care: A Dystopian Future.Robert Sparrow - 2016 - AI and Society 31 (4):1-10.
    In this paper I describe a future in which persons in advanced old age are cared for entirely by robots and suggest that this would be a dystopia, which we would be well advised to avoid if we can. Paying attention to the objective elements of welfare rather than to people’s happiness reveals the central importance of respect and recognition, which robots cannot provide, to the practice of aged care. A realistic appreciation of the current economics of the aged care (...)
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