Articles  |    |  January 15, 2008

Caregiving robots and ethical reflection: the perspective of interdisciplinary technology assessment

Article by Michael Decker.
Published in AI & Society.


Autonomous robots that are capable of learning are being developed to make it easier for human actors to achieve their goals. As such, robots are primarily a means to an end and replace human actions (or parts of them). An interdisciplinary technology assessment was carried out to determine the extent to which a replacement of this kind makes ethical sense in terms of technology, economics and legal aspects. Proceeding from an ethical perspective, derived from Kant’s formula of humanity, in this article we analyse the use of robots in the care of the elderly or infirm and then examine robot learning in the context of this kind of cooperation.