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AI & SOCIETY

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 23–31 | Cite as

Creating “companions” for children: the ethics of designing esthetic features for robots

  • Yvette PearsonEmail author
  • Jason Borenstein
Original Article

Abstract

Taking the term “companion” in a broad sense to include robot caregivers, playmates, assistive devices, and toys, we examine ethical issues that emerge from designing companion robots for children. We focus on the relative importance and potential ethical implications of creating robots with certain types of esthetic features. We include an examination of whether robots ought to be made to appear or act humanlike, and whether robots should be gendered. In our estimation, this line of ethical inquiry may even provide insight into the nature and appropriateness of existing institutions and widely accepted interactions among human beings.

Keywords

Robot ethics Robot companions Design ethics Gender Human–robot interaction Children 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Institute for Ethics and Public AffairsOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA
  2. 2.School of Public PolicyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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