, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 347-354
Date: 22 Jan 2011

Killers, fridges, and slaves: a legal journey in robotics

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Abstract

This paper adopts a legal perspective to counter some exaggerations of today’s debate on the social understanding of robotics. According to a long and well-established tradition, there is in fact a relative strong consensus among lawyers about some key notions as, say, agency and liability in the current use of robots. However, dealing with a field in rapid evolution, we need to rethink some basic tenets of the contemporary legal framework. In particular, time has come for lawyers to acknowledge that some acts of robots should be considered as a new source of legal responsibility for others’ behaviour.