Robotics: Law and Roboethics

Sophia, a robot by Hong Kong based company Hanson Robotics

15th January 2018

The topic of robotics hit the headlines during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas at the start of January. The annual technological showcase introduced the world to Sophia, a robot by Hong Kong based company Hanson Robotics. Sophia attracted global attention because of the sophisticated manner in which she interacted with her human counterparts.

At IntechOpen we have a rich heritage in robotics and took a great interest in Sophia; not only because of the continuing evolution in robotic technologies, but also because of the ethical and societal questions we will soon be facing.

How can humans and robots coexist? Can we, and should we, seek to control human robots? When should scientists stop improving human robots?

We have published a wide variety of papers about robotics by world-renowned experts which seek to tackle these questions, and many more.

In Robotics - Legal, Ethical and Socioeconomic Impacts Professor George Dekoulis, Aerospace Engineering Institute, Cyprus, delivers a perspective on roboethics: “This chapter is dedicated to human robots and it describes a number of individual and social human phenomena that have already been replicated by constructing simulated human robots and simulated robotic societies. At the end of the chapter, we briefly discuss some of the problems that human robots will pose to human beings.”

In Robots Liability: A Use Case and a Potential Solution, Alejandro Zornoza, José C. Moreno, José L. Guzmán, Francisco Rodríguez and Julián Sánchez-Hermosilla look to uncover how liability laws could be necessary for robots. “The attribution of liability for damages produced by autonomous agents usually focuses the theoretical discussion on legal and ethical fields on robotics.”

In Ethic Reflections about Service Robotics, from Human Protection to Enhancement: Case Study on Cultural Heritage, Luca Giuliano, Maria Luce Lupetti, Sara Khan and Claudio Germak discuss how “In a vision of future implications of human‐robot interactions, it is vital to investigate how computer ethics and specifically roboethics could help to enhance human’s life.”

Find these, and many more academic papers, made possible through Open Access publishing on IntechOpen.