Robotics Ethics: Report Published by UNESCO


“Dignity is inherent to human beings, not to machines or robots. Therefore, robots and humans are not to be confused even if an android robot has the seductive appearance of a human, or if a powerful cognitive robot has learning capacity that exceeds individual human cognition. Robots are not humans; they are the result of human creativity and they still need a technical support system and maintenance in order to be effective and efficient tools or mediators.” “The ‘do not harm’ principle is a red line for robots. As many technologies, a robot has the potentiality for ‘dual-use’. Robots are usually designed for good and useful purposes (to diminish harmfulness of work, for example), to help human beings, not to harm or kill them(…) If we are morally serious about this ethical principle, then we have to ask ourselves whether armed drones and autonomous weapons should be banned.”   “Deterministic robots, and even sophisticated cognitive robots, cannot take any ethical responsibility, which lies with the designer, manufacturer, seller, user and the State. Therefore, human beings should always be in the loop and find ways to control robots by different means (e.g. traceability, off-switch, etc) in order to maintain human moral and legal responsibility.” This approach correlates with recommendations being currently drafted by European and national authorities, specifying that robots should not be independent of human control nor allowed to direct changes in human labor.]]>

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