About Service Robots

Service robots are becoming ever more pervasive in society-at-large. They are present in our apartments and our streets. They are found in hotels, hospitals, and care homes, in shopping malls, and on company grounds. In doing so, various challenges arise. Service robots consume energy, they take up space in ever more crowded cities, sometimes leading us to collide with them and stumble over them. They monitor us, they communicate with us and retain our secrets on their data drives. In relation to this, they can be hacked, kidnapped and abused. The first section of the article “Service Robots from the Perspectives of Information and Machine Ethics” by Oliver Bendel presents different types of service robots – like security, transport, therapy, and care robots – and discusses the moral implications that arise from their existence. Information ethics and machine ethics will form the basis for interrogating these moral implications. The second section discusses the draft for a patient declaration, by which people can determine whether and how they want to be treated and cared for by a robot. The article is part of the new book “Envisioning Robots in Society – Power, Politics, and Public Space“ that reproduces the talks of the Robophilosophy 2018 conference in Vienna (IOS Press, Amsterdam 2018).

Fig.: A transport robot in Switzerland

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