AI & SOCIETY

pp 1–19 | Cite as

The case of classroom robots: teachers’ deliberations on the ethical tensions

  • Sofia Serholt
  • Wolmet Barendregt
  • Asimina Vasalou
  • Patrícia Alves-Oliveira
  • Aidan Jones
  • Sofia Petisca
  • Ana Paiva
Open Forum

Abstract

Robots are increasingly being studied for use in education. It is expected that robots will have the potential to facilitate children’s learning and function autonomously within real classrooms in the near future. Previous research has raised the importance of designing acceptable robots for different practices. In parallel, scholars have raised ethical concerns surrounding children interacting with robots. Drawing on a Responsible Research and Innovation perspective, our goal is to move away from research concerned with designing features that will render robots more socially acceptable by end users toward a reflective dialogue whose goal is to consider the key ethical issues and long-term consequences of implementing classroom robots for teachers and children in primary education. This paper presents the results from several focus groups conducted with teachers in three European countries. Through a thematic analysis, we provide a theoretical account of teachers’ perspectives on classroom robots pertaining to privacy, robot role, effects on children and responsibility. Implications for the field of educational robotics are discussed.

Keywords

Educational robots Social implications Ethics Teachers’ perspectives Thematic analysis Focus group 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofia Serholt
    • 1
  • Wolmet Barendregt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Asimina Vasalou
    • 3
  • Patrícia Alves-Oliveira
    • 4
    • 6
  • Aidan Jones
    • 5
  • Sofia Petisca
    • 4
  • Ana Paiva
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Applied ITUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.LinCS, Linneaus Centre of ExcellenceUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  3. 3.UCL Knowledge Lab, UCL Institute of EducationLondonUK
  4. 4.INESC-ID and Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  5. 5.University of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  6. 6.Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), CIS-IULLisbonPortugal

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