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From Robots to Techno Sapiens: Ethics, Law and Public Policy in the Development of Robotics and Neurotechnologies

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Abstract:

Robots with even limited sensitivity to ethical considerations and the ability to factor those considerations into their choices and actions will open up new markets. However, if robots fail to adequately accommodate human laws and values in their behaviour, there will be demands for regulations that limit their use. Over the next twenty years, advances in robotics will converge with neurotechnologies and other emerging technologies. We will be confronted with not just monitoring and managing individual technologies that are each developing rapidly, but also with the cultural transformations arising from the convergence of many technologies. Technological development can overheat or may even stagnate. The central role for ethics, law, and public policy in the development of robots and neurotechnologies will be in modulating their rate of development and deployment. Compromising safety, appropriate use, and responsibility is a ready formulation for inviting crises in which technology is complicit.

Keywords: ARTIFICIAL AGENTS; DECISION MAKING; EMERGING TECHNOLOGY; MACHINE ETHICS; ROBOTS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5235/175799611798204888

Publication date: December 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Stem cell research, cloning, GMOs ... How do regulations effect such emerging technologies? What impact do new technologies have on law? And can we rely on technology itself as a regulatory tool?

    The meeting of law and technology is rapidly becoming an increasingly significant (and controversial) topic. Law, Innovation and Technology is, however, the only journal to engage fully with it, setting an innovative and distinctive agenda for lawyers, ethicists and policy makers. Spanning ICTs, biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, neurotechnologies, robotics and AI, it offers a unique forum for the highest level of reflection on this essential area.

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