The evaluation of the societal impact of autonomous technologies, particularly robotics, has grown in technological contexts (e.g., see [14] and the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems [20]), as well as broader political contexts (e.g., see the 2017 European Parliament report regarding civil law rules on robotics [21]). In this article, we adopt the perspective that conceptualizes new technologies as social experiments, stressing their experimental character to deal with the inherent uncertainty that affects their behavior. We suggest that the kind of experiments performed when evaluating robots in specific contexts of use are explorative experiments, i.e., investigations carried out in the absence of a proper theory or theoretical background that diverge from the traditional notion of controlled experiments. Considering this epistemological shift, we apply the ethical framework proposed by van de Poel for experimental technologies to the case of robotics, and we discuss its implications on the design of robots. To make our discussion more concrete, we reference the field of robots for search and rescue, which offers a challenging opportunity to test socioethical approaches to the development of robots and their interactions with environments and humans.

Ethics for robots as experimental technologies: Pairing anticipation with exploration to evaluate the social impact of robotics

Amigoni, Francesco;Schiaffonati, Viola
2018-01-01

Abstract

The evaluation of the societal impact of autonomous technologies, particularly robotics, has grown in technological contexts (e.g., see [14] and the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems [20]), as well as broader political contexts (e.g., see the 2017 European Parliament report regarding civil law rules on robotics [21]). In this article, we adopt the perspective that conceptualizes new technologies as social experiments, stressing their experimental character to deal with the inherent uncertainty that affects their behavior. We suggest that the kind of experiments performed when evaluating robots in specific contexts of use are explorative experiments, i.e., investigations carried out in the absence of a proper theory or theoretical background that diverge from the traditional notion of controlled experiments. Considering this epistemological shift, we apply the ethical framework proposed by van de Poel for experimental technologies to the case of robotics, and we discuss its implications on the design of robots. To make our discussion more concrete, we reference the field of robots for search and rescue, which offers a challenging opportunity to test socioethical approaches to the development of robots and their interactions with environments and humans.
2018
Control and Systems Engineering; Computer Science Applications1707 Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition; Electrical and Electronic Engineering
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1049265
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