To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.


Most robotics and automation scientists believe that many new aspects that currently emerge in robotics and automation (R&A), and aspects that are expected to emerge in future, call for the development of new cultural, ethical and legal regulations that can face efficiently the most delicate issues that may arise in real practice. Over the last two decades the subject of ethics in R&A has received great attention and many important theoretical and practical results were derived in the direction of making robots and automation systems ethical. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issue of ethics in robotics and automation, and outline major representative achievements in the field.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... Robotics has a greater connection with traditional and ethical theories such as deontological, valuebased theory, consequentialist theory, case-based theory etc. Deontological theory with respect to robots are human centred since they are bound to operate for the human service (Tzafestas, 2018a). To make a case for robot rights in the deontological convention, at that point, is to make a case for solid moral consideration. ...
... The major ethical principles for robots in the healthcare sector are: Autonomy, Beneficence, Justice, Non-maleficence, Truthfulness and Dignity (Tzafestas, 2018a). There are various social impacts related to robots since there is a shift in the structure of the economy and the displacement of workers due to robot"s employment. ...
Full-text available
From machines to artificial intelligence and digital currencies, things are moving complex and fast. As we enter into this new era, it is essential to develop a new set of morale. In the present scenario, the pace of the technological developments are such that there comes a situation where humans have to co-exist with robots. Roboethics is an emerging research field which has not been explored much by researchers till date. It is the area of study which revolves around the ethical behaviour of robots and also the designing of ethical robots. It is gaining importance these days since robots are interacting with humans without age specifications, from children to the elderly. This paper traces the concept and emergence of roboethics, ethical and unethical issues relating to robotics and its impact in education and health sector. The last phase of the paper revolves around the main social and ethical issues encountered by the society due to the application of robots in different sectors. The paper does not focus on all types of robots. This being a conceptual paper establishes the relationship between robots and ethics, and shows an analysis of the significant ethical and societal issues in robotics.
... A branch of IoT of particular importance for the well-being of modern digital society is that of IoT-based robotics and industrial automation [51,52]. Overviews of the ethical issues related to robotics and automation are provided in [53,54]. Two important papers, worth mentioning here, are given in [55,56]. ...
... Similarly A branch of IoT of particular importance for the well-being of modern digital society is that of IoT-based robotics and industrial automation [51,52]. Overviews of the ethical issues related to robotics and automation are provided in [53,54]. Two important papers, worth mentioning here, are given in [55,56]. ...
Full-text available
The aim of the law is to maintain social order, peace, and justice in society, whereas the aim of ethics is to provide codes of ethics and conduct that help people to decide what is wrong, and how to act and behave. Laws provide a minimum set of standards for obtaining good human behavior. Ethics often provides standards that exceed the legal minimum. Therefore, for the best behavior, both law and ethics should be respected. The Internet of Things (IoT) involves a large number of objects and humans that are connected via the Internet ‘anytime’ and ‘anyplace’ to provide homogeneous communication and contextual services. Thus, it creates a new social, economic, political, and ethical landscape that needs new enhanced legal and ethical measures for privacy protection, data security, ownership protection, trust improvement, and the development of proper standards. This survey and opinion article is concerned with the ethics and legislation of the IoT and provides an overview of the following: definition and history of the IoT; general ethical principles and theories that are available for application in the IoT; the role of governments in the IoT; regulations in the European Union (EU) and United States for the IoT’ IoT characteristics that have the potential to create ethical problems; IoT ethical questions and principles; IoT security, privacy, and trust aspects; and the ethical culture of IoT-related companies.
Conference Paper
A new concept has emerged from the Internet of Things (IoT) called the Internet of Robotic Things (IoRT). Within urban environments, decisions concerning our habitat are commonly made via democratically or by consensus. Future systems involving IoT and IoRT will include, not only hard elements, but also software, (such as bots) and social to soft system interactions, with many stakeholders resulting in ambiguity and unclear requirements. In the case of wicked problems, this research looks into the area of knowledge co-creation and Problem Structuring Methods (PSM), which work better. In the near future, we will be surrounded by a large number of software and hardware systems that uses collaborative AI, or at least co-dependent AI. Similar to the science of human to computer interaction, we will have distributed social systems to distributed AI interaction. This research sheds light on ethics as a socio-technical element when modelling robotic cities infrastructures. The paper considers full actuation autonomy and control by IoT/IoRT, therefore adding software bots and social soft systems into the mix, as well as interdependencies of infrastructure hard-systems. Past robotics research of ethics debates whether ethics should be taught to robots vs hard programmed into robots, whilst a third school of thought discusses the philosophical implications. This research takes an alternative route to that. It provides definitions, establishes common grounds and opens discussions regarding how we can model our societies' interactions with a distributed Artificial Intelligent (AI) system; replacing the various human experts running the autonomous city. The research concludes with a preliminary proposal that is an abstraction resulted from a literature review conducted in this topic area.
Human resource development (HRD) scholars and professionals must follow research ethics, assist with governance within their organizations, and prepare for the future. Understanding Institutional Review Board (IRB) polices and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requirements and exhibiting research ethics are vital to the career success of HRD scholars and professionals. They must practice and teach appropriate research ethics. Governance is an area where HRD scholars and professionals have growth potential. HRD scholars and practitioners must continuously examine interventions that could reduce the negative effects of unethical behavior in the workplace and accentuate the positive effects of HRD related interventions. They must provide readily available solutions as leaders and employees continuously face ethical dilemmas in the workplace. As future trends continue with artificial intelligence and robotics in the workplace, HRD scholars and professionals must assist organization leaders as they develop ethical and legal policies to address these changes.
Full-text available
Research and innovation in emerging technologies can have great benefits but also raise ethical and social concerns. The current discourse on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a novel attempt to come to conceptual and practical ways of dealing with such concerns. In order to effectively understand and address possible ethical and social issues, stakeholders need to have an understanding of what such issues might be. This article explores ethical issues related to the field of emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs). Based on a foresight study of ICT that led to the identification of eleven emerging technologies, we outline the field of ethical and social issues of these technologies. This overview of possible problems can serve as an important sensitising device to these issues. We describe how such awareness can contribute to the successful deployment of responsible practice in research and innovation.
Full-text available
Many assistive robots for elderly and disabled people have been developed in the past few decades. However, very few of them became commercially available. The major cause of the problem is that the cost-benefit ratio and the risk-benefit ratio of them are not good or not known. The evaluation of them should be done in the light of the impacts of assistive technologies on users' whole life, both in short-term and long-term. In this paper, we propose a framework of evaluation and design of assistive robots using ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health). The goal of the framework is the realization of the life design and the improvement of the quality of life using assistive technologies. We describe the concept of utilizing ICF in the development process of assistive robots, and demonstrate its utility by using some examples of practical application such as the analysis of daily living, the design of assistive robots and the evaluation of assistive robots. We also show the issues of using ICF for further development of the framework.
Full-text available
The era of the Cyborg is now upon us. This has enormous implications on ethical values for both humans and cyborgs. In this paper the state of play is discussed. Routes to cyborgisation are introduced and different types of Cyborg are considered. The author's own self-experimentation projects are described as central to the theme taken. The presentation involves ethical aspects of cyborgisation both as it stands now and those which need to be investigated in the near future as the effects of increased technological power have a more dramatic influence. An important feature is the potential for cyborgs to act against, rather than for, the interests of humanity.
Full-text available
An investigation into the assignment of moral responsibilities and rights to intelligent and autonomous machines of our own making. © 2012 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.
Full-text available
The implementation of moral decision-making abilities in AI is a natural and necessary extension to the social mechanisms of autonomous software agents and robots. Engineers exploring design strategies for systems sen- sitive to moral considerations in their choices and ac- tions will need to determine what role ethical theory should play in defining control architectures for such systems. The architectures for morally intelligent agents fall within two broad approaches: the top-down imposi- tion of ethical theories, and the bottom-up building of systems that aim at specified goals or standards which may or may not be specified in explicitly theoretical terms. In this paper we wish to provide some direc- tion for continued research by outlining the value and limitations inherent in each of these approaches.
This paper deals with the birth of Roboethics. Roboethics is the ethics inspiring the design, development and employment of Intelligent Machines. Roboethics shares many 'sensitive areas' with Computer Ethics, Information Ethics and Bioethics. It investigates the social and ethical problems due to the effects of the Second and Third Industrial Revolutions in the Humans/Machines interaction’s domain. Urged by the responsibilities involved in their professions, an increasing number of roboticists from all over the world have started - in cross-cultural collaboration with scholars of Humanities – to thoroughly develop the Roboethics, the applied ethics that should inspire the design, manufacturing and use of robots. The result is the Roboethics Roadmap.
The human-built environment is increasingly being populated by artificial agents that, through artificial intelligence (AI), are capable of acting autonomously. The software controlling these autonomous systems is, to-date, "ethically blind" in the sense that the decision-making capabilities of such systems does not involve any explicit moral reasoning. The title Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong refers to the need for these increasingly autonomous systems (robots and software bots) to become capable of factoring ethical and moral considerations into their decision making. The new field of inquiry directed at the development of artificial moral agents is referred to by a number of names including machine morality, machine ethics, roboethics, or artificial morality. Engineers exploring design strategies for systems sensitive to moral considerations in their choices and actions will need to determine what role ethical theory should play in defining control architectures for such systems.
In this essay, a new approach for the ethical study of emerging technology ethics will be presented, called anticipatory technology ethics (ATE). The ethics of emerging technology is the study of ethical issues at the R&D and introduction stage of technology development through anticipation of possible future devices, applications, and social consequences. I will argue that a major problem for its development is the problem of uncertainty, which can only be overcome through methodologically sound forecasting and futures studies. I will then consider three contemporary approaches to the ethics of emerging technologies that use forecasting: ethical technology assessment, the techno-ethical scenarios approach and the ETICA approach, and I considered their strengths and weaknesses. Based on this critical study, I then present my own approach: ATE. ATE is a conceptually and methodologically rich approach for the ethical analysis of emerging technologies that incorporates a large variety of ethical principles, issues, objects and levels of analysis, and research aims. It is ready to be applied to contemporary and future emerging technologies.
In this article, we highlight the possible benefits, as well potential threats, related to the widespread use of robots. We follow the view that a robot cannot be analyzed on its own without taking into consideration the complex sociotechnical nexus of today's societies and that high-tech devices, such as robots, may influence how societies develop in ways could not be foreseen during the design of the robots. In our survey, we limit ourselves to presenting the ethical issues delineated by other authors and relay their lines of reasoning for raising the public's concerns. We show that disagree ments on what is ethical or not in robotics stem often from different beliefs on human nature and different expectations on what technology may achieve in the future. We do not offer a personal stance to these issues, so as to allow the reader to form his/her opinion.
This special issue deals with the emerging debate on roboethics, the human ethics applied to robotics. Is a specific ethic applied to robotics truly necessary? Or, conversely, are not the general principles of ethics adequate to answer many of the issues raised by our field's applications? In our opinion, and according to many roboticists and human scientists, many novel issues that emerge and many more that will show up in the immediate future, arising from the upcoming marketed robotics products, demand the development of new cultural and legal tools that can provide the crucial answers to the most sensitive questions.
There are at least three things we might mean by "ethics in robotics": the ethical systems built into robots, the ethics of people who design and use robots, and the ethics of how people treat robots. This paper argues that the best approach to robot ethics is one which addresses all three of these, and to do this it ought to consider robots as socio-technical systems. By so doing, it is possible to think of a continuum of agency that lies between amoral and fully autonomous moral agents. Thus, robots might move gradually along this continuum as they acquire greater ethical capabilities and moral sophistication. It argues that we must be careful not to treat robots as moral agents prematurely. It also argues that many of the issues regarding the distribution of responsibility in complex socio-technical systems might best be addressed by looking to legal theory, rather than moral theory. This is because our overarching interest in robot ethics ought to be the practical one of preventing robots from doing harm, as well as ensuring that humans take responsibility for their actions.
This paper reviews “socially interactive robots”: robots for which social human–robot interaction is important. We begin by discussing the context for socially interactive robots, emphasizing the relationship to other research fields and the different forms of “social robots”. We then present a taxonomy of design methods and system components used to build socially interactive robots. Finally, we describe the impact of these robots on humans and discuss open issues. An expanded version of this paper, which contains a survey and taxonomy of current applications, is available as a technical report [T. Fong, I. Nourbakhsh, K. Dautenhahn, A survey of socially interactive robots: concepts, design and applications, Technical Report No. CMU-RI-TR-02-29, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2002].
Ethics and robotics are two academic disciplines, one dealing with the moral norms and values underlying implicitly or explicitly human behavior and the other aiming at the production of artificial agents, mostly as physical devices, with some degree of autonomy based on rules and programmes set up by their creators. Robotics is also one of the research fields where the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science is currently taking place with large societal and legal implications beyond traditional industrial applications. Robots are and will remain -in the foreseeable future- dependent on human ethical scrutiny as well as on the moral and legal responsibility of humans. Human-robot interaction raises serious ethical questions right now that are theoretically less ambitious, but practically more important than the possibility of the creation of moral machines that would be more than machines with an ethical code. The ethical perspective addressed in this volume is therefore the one we humans have when interacting with robots. Topics include the ethical challenges of healthcare and warfare applications of robotics, as well as fundamental questions concerning the moral dimension of human-robot-interaction including epistomological, ontological and psychoanalytic issues. It also deals with the intercultural dialogue between Western and Non-Western as well as between European and US-American ethicists.IOS Press is an international science, technical and medical publisher of high-quality books for academics, scientists, and professionals in all fields. Some of the areas we publish in: -Biomedicine -Oncology -Artificial intelligence -Databases and information systems -Maritime engineering -Nanotechnology -Geoengineering -All aspects of physics -E-governance -E-commerce -The knowledge economy -Urban studies -Arms control -Understanding and responding to terrorism -Medical informatics -Computer Sciences
Emerging information technologies are those excitingly novel advances that decision makers are just beginning to notice. These emerging products or processes may have been invented some time ago, but are only now beginning to reveal practical applications. This paper examines this collection of seven studies exploring emerging technologies, classifying them so the context of their results can be related to other emerging technologies. Once the research is classified and the contribution and managerial significance of the research is identified, it becomes apparent that certain barriers exist, holding back the technology from wider use and appreciation. Common obstacles include resistance to, or difficulty with, using the technology; uncertainty concerning the value of the technology; and the complexities involved with implementation. This paper concludes with recommendations for future research aimed at breaking down the barriers in order to move from the technological emergence phase to the technological sublime phase in which decision makers and other end users understand the technology, realize and appreciate its value, and put the technology to its best use.
1. Presentation Recently, many instances in the world culture are pushing towards the rediscovery of the ethical dimension of technology. It is of paramount importance now to foster a debate, similar to what is being done in the area of bioethics, aimed at the formulation of a series of common principles that would serve as a basis for what could be called Technoethics (TE). Without pretensions to completeness or systematicity, this brief treatise wishes to propose basic elements fundamental to the debate in question. 2. Definition TE could be defined as a sum total of ideas that bring into evidence a system of ethical reference that justifies that profound dimension of technology as a central element in the attainment of a "finalized" perfection of man. This definition presupposes a positive view of technology as anthropologically relevant, which notwithstanding it being one of the first truths known to mankind, has been strongly questioned within many sectors of culture in these last decades. For this reason, distinction should first be made between TE and what is generally known as the professional code of ethics of the engineer. This important subject specifically concerns the free and responsible action of these professionals in so far as it forms part of the whole of human activity through the tasks proper to the profession. Though TE has to do primarily with the activities of the engineer, its scope should be considered as more ample, arriving at illuminating all technical activity in so far as this can result in a positive end for the person and technics itself with respect to the objective value of its products.
The birth of roboethics
  • G Veruggio
Veruggio G. The birth of roboethics. Proceedings of ICRA'2005: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation: Workshop on Roboethics; 2005 Apr 18;
Automation and ethics. Handbook of Automation
  • S Ramaswany
  • H Joshi
Ramaswany S, Joshi H. Automation and ethics. Handbook of Automation, Berlin: Springer; 2009: 809-833.
Roboethics: A Navigating Overview
  • S G Tzafestas
Tzafestas SG. Roboethics: A Navigating Overview. Intelligent Systems, Control and Automation: Science and Engineering, Springer; 2016. Copyright: ©2018 Tzafestas Citation: Tzafestas SG. Ethics in robotics and automation: a general view. Int Rob Auto J. 2018;4(3):229-234. DOI: 10.15406/iratj.2018.04.00127
Robot Ethics: The ethical and social implications of robotics
  • P Lin
  • K Abney
  • G A Bekey
Lin P, Abney K, Bekey GA. Robot Ethics: The ethical and social implications of robotics. MIT Press; Cambridge, MA, USA. 2012.
Astounding science fiction
  • I Asimov
  • Runaround
Asimov I. Runaround: Astounding science fiction, march 1942. Republished in robot visions, New York, USA: Penguin. 1991.
  • T A Mappes
  • De Grazia
Mappes TA, De Grazia D. Biomedical ethics. New York: McGraw-Hill. 2006.
Robots and responsibility from a legal perspective
  • A Asaro
Asaro A. Robots and responsibility from a legal perspective. Proceedings of 2007 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation: Workshop on Roboethics, Rome. 2007:1-13.
Wilfred Implants: Reconstructing the Human Body
  • Lynchw
LynchW. Wilfred Implants: Reconstructing the Human Body. Journal of Clinical Engineering. 1982;7(3):1-263.
Cyborgs and space. Astronautics
  • M Clynes
  • S Kline
Clynes M, Kline S. Cyborgs and space. Astronautics; 1960.
Technoethics and the evolving knowledge society: ethical issues in technological design, research, development, and innovation
  • R Luppicini
Luppicini R. Technoethics and the evolving knowledge society: ethical issues in technological design, research, development, and innovation. IGI Global; 2010:1-323.
Delivery of service quality and satisfying library customers through web-based services
  • M A Pinto
Pinto MA. Delivery of service quality and satisfying library customers through web-based services. 2011:1-51.
  • S G Tzafestas
Tzafestas SG. Systems, cybernetics, control, and automation. Ontological, Epistemological, Societal, and Ethical Issues, Gistrup, Denmark. River Publisher Publishers; 2017.
What happens if robots take the jobs? The impact of emerging technologies on employment and public policy, Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings; USA
  • D M West
West DM. What happens if robots take the jobs? The impact of emerging technologies on employment and public policy, Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings; USA. 2015.