We need to talk about deception in social robotics!

Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):309-316 (2020)
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Although some authors claim that deception requires intention, we argue that there can be deception in social robotics, whether or not it is intended. By focusing on the deceived rather than the deceiver, we propose that false beliefs can be created in the absence of intention. Supporting evidence is found in both human and animal examples. Instead of assuming that deception is wrong only when carried out to benefit the deceiver, we propose that deception in social robotics is wrong when it leads to harmful impacts on individuals and society. The appearance and behaviour of a robot can lead to an overestimation of its functionality or to an illusion of sentience or cognition that can promote misplaced trust and inappropriate uses such as care and companionship of the vulnerable. We consider the allocation of responsibility for harmful deception. Finally, we make the suggestion that harmful impacts could be prevented by legislation, and by the development of an assessment framework for sensitive robot applications.



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Citations of this work

Manipulation, Injustice, and Technology.Michael Klenk - 2022 - In Fleur Jongepier & Michael Klenk (eds.), The Philosophy of Online Manipulation. New York: Routledge. pp. 108-131.
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