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Robot Ethics 2.0From Autonomous Cars to Artificial Intelligence$
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Patrick Lin, Keith Abney, and Ryan Jenkins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190652951

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190652951.001.0001

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Could a Robot Care? It’s All in the Movement

Could a Robot Care? It’s All in the Movement

(p.97) 7 Could a Robot Care? It’s All in the Movement
Robot Ethics 2.0

Darian Meacham

Matthew Studley

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, we ask if care robots can care. The standard and indeed intuitive response to such a question is no. This response is premised on the argument that care requires internal cognitive and emotional states that robots lack. We explore arguments that belie this conclusion. We argue that care robots may participate in the creation of caring environments through certain types of expressive movement, irrespective of the existence of internal emotional states or intentions. We address three possible objections to this argument and argue that none of them is lethal to our hypothesis. Finally, we examine evidence that despite phenomenological similarity, such human–robot interactions are not neurologically equivalent to human–human interactions and seem to show a difference in intensity. We note that this may change as robots become more widespread and we evolve social and cognitive structures to accept them in our daily lives.

Keywords:   robots, ethics, morality, robot carers, human dignity, care environment, expressive, elements of care, environmental hypothesis, deception

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