Chapter 80 — Roboethics: Social and Ethical Implications

Roboethics: Introduction

Introduction ton Ethical, Legal and Societal issues. This is the first time in history that humanity is nearing the achievement of replicating an intelligent and autonomous entity. This compels the scientific community to examine closely the very concept of intelligence – in humans and animals, and of the me- chanical – from a cybernetic standpoint. In fact, complex concepts like autonomy, learning, consciousness, evaluation, free will, decision making, freedom, emotions, and many others need to be analyzed, taking into account that the same concept may not have, in humans, animals, and machines, the same semantic meaning. From this standpoint, it can be seen as natural and necessary that robotics draws on several other disciplines, such as logic, linguistics, neuroscience, psychology, biology, physiology, philosophy, litera- ture, natural history, anthropology, art, and design. In fact, robotics de facto combines the so-called two cultural spheres, science and humanities. The effort to design roboethics should take into account this specificity. This means that experts will consider robotics as a whole - in spite of the current early stage which recalls a melting pot – so they can achieve the vision of robotics’ future. “Roboethics is an applied ethics whose objective is to develop scientific/cultural/technical tools that can be shared by different social groups and beliefs. These tools aim to promote and encourage the development of robotics for the advancement of human society and individuals, and to help preventing its misuse against humankind.” (Veruggio, 2002)
Fiorella Operto
Scuola di Robotica