Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics

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Patrick Lin, Keith Abney, George A. Bekey
MIT Press, Dec 9, 2011 - Technology & Engineering - 400 pages

Prominent experts from science and the humanities explore issues in robot ethics that range from sex to war.

Robots today serve in many roles, from entertainer to educator to executioner. As robotics technology advances, ethical concerns become more pressing: Should robots be programmed to follow a code of ethics, if this is even possible? Are there risks in forming emotional bonds with robots? How might society—and ethics—change with robotics? This volume is the first book to bring together prominent scholars and experts from both science and the humanities to explore these and other questions in this emerging field.

Starting with an overview of the issues and relevant ethical theories, the topics flow naturally from the possibility of programming robot ethics to the ethical use of military robots in war to legal and policy questions, including liability and privacy concerns. The contributors then turn to human-robot emotional relationships, examining the ethical implications of robots as sexual partners, caregivers, and servants. Finally, they explore the possibility that robots, whether biological-computational hybrids or pure machines, should be given rights or moral consideration.

Ethics is often slow to catch up with technological developments. This authoritative and accessible volume fills a gap in both scholarly literature and policy discussion, offering an impressive collection of expert analyses of the most crucial topics in this increasingly important field.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

We've come a long way from the days of Elektro and Robby, ladies and gentlemen. Robots are playing a larger role in the modern world. Robots can, as of March 29, 2012, assassinate foreign enemies ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I noticed this book seems to have no female authors in it despite all these chapters! Perhaps I missed a name but it is odd nevertheless. especially considering the many women working in this field.


II Design and Programming
III Military
IV Law
V Psychology and Sex
VI Medicine and Care
VII Rights and Ethics
VIII Epilogue
List of Contributors

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About the author (2011)

Patrick Lin is a philosopher and Director of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group, based at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Keith Abney is a philosopher of science and Senior Lecturer at California Polytechnic State University.

George A. Bekey is Professor Emeritus in Computer Science at University of Southern California and Distinguished Professor of Engineering at California Polytechnic State University.

Colin Allen is Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University. He is the coauthor of Nature's Purposes (MIT Press, 1998), Species of Mind (MIT Press, 1997), and The Cognitive Animal (MIT Press, 2001).

Matthias Scheutz is Associate Professor of Cognitive Science and Computer Science at Tufts University.

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