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Publication Summary and Abstract

Tony J Prescott (2013), Sunny uplands or slippery slopes? The risks and benefits of using robots in care, UKRE Workshop on Robot Ethics, 25th March 2013, Sheffield, UK.

This paper considers some of the ethical issues around the use of robots in caring for older people and in childcare. I argue that the debate on the use of robots in care has involved slippery slope arguments for which the likelihood of progression to worst-case outcomes needs more thorough analysis. In older care, the risk of social isolation of older people through use of care robots is indirect and may have been overstated; similarly, in childcare, the risk of psychological damage to children, through irresponsible use of robots, must be balanced against the potential positive benefits of these technologies if used appropriately.
Copy of the article (PDF)