Ethics and Information Technology

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 299–309

Robots, law and the retribution gap

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10676-016-9403-3

Cite this article as:
Danaher, J. Ethics Inf Technol (2016) 18: 299. doi:10.1007/s10676-016-9403-3

Abstract

We are living through an era of increased robotisation. Some authors have already begun to explore the impact of this robotisation on legal rules and practice. In doing so, many highlight potential liability gaps that might arise through robot misbehaviour. Although these gaps are interesting and socially significant, they do not exhaust the possible gaps that might be created by increased robotisation. In this article, I make the case for one of those alternative gaps: the retribution gap. This gap arises from a mismatch between the human desire for retribution and the absence of appropriate subjects of retributive blame. I argue for the potential existence of this gap in an era of increased robotisation; suggest that it is much harder to plug this gap than it is to plug those thus far explored in the literature; and then highlight three important social implications of this gap.

Keywords

RoboticsLawMoral responsibilityLiability gapsRetribution gaps

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawNUI GalwayGalwayIreland