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The African Relational Account of Social Robots: a Step Back?

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  1. “There are three possible moves one might make: social robots’ future moral standing is (1) below humans, (2) equal to humans or (3) above humans. Other things being equal, choosing (1) implies that the humans should always be favored; choosing (2) implies that in some instances, we should use a random method; choosing (3) implies that sometimes we should favor robots over humans” (Sect. 3.2, p. 9).

  2. A completely different issue concerns whether current social robots deserve moral protection. Given the descriptions of the robots in the paper, I am inclined to think that such robots are entitled to moral and legal personhood. But this is something that might happen only in the distant future.

  3. … humans should save humans over social robots other things being equal and second, that robots should save humans over robots too” (Sect. 3, p. 8).


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This research is funded by the European Social Fund according to the activity ‘Improvement of researchers’ qualification by implementing world-class R&D projects of Measure No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712.

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JSG (single author).

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Correspondence to John-Stewart Gordon.

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Gordon, JS. The African Relational Account of Social Robots: a Step Back?. Philos. Technol. 35, 49 (2022).

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