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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Engineering Cheerful Robots: An Ethical Consideration

School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF10 3AT, UK
Information 2018, 9(7), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/info9070152
Received: 16 May 2018 / Revised: 10 June 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 24 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ROBOETHICS)
Socially interactive robots in a variety of forms and function are quickly becoming part of everyday life and bring with them a host of applied ethical issues. This paper concerns meta-ethical implications at the interface among robotics, ethics, psychology, and the social sciences. While guidelines for the ethical design and use of robots are necessary and urgent, meeting this exigency opens up the issue of whose values and vision of the ideal society inform public policies. The paper is organized as a sequence of questions: Can robots be agents of cultural transmission? Is a cultural shift an issue for roboethics? Should roboethics be an instrument of (political) social engineering? How could biases of the technological imagination be avoided? Does technological determinism compromise the possibility of moral action? The answers to these questions are not straightforwardly affirmative or negative, but their contemplation leads to heeding C. Wright Mills’ metaphor of the cheerful robot. View Full-Text
Keywords: social robots; ethics; cultural shift; technological determinism; child–robot interaction social robots; ethics; cultural shift; technological determinism; child–robot interaction
MDPI and ACS Style

Jones, R.A. Engineering Cheerful Robots: An Ethical Consideration. Information 2018, 9, 152.

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