Ethical Issues of Humanoid-Human Interaction

  • Rafael CapurroEmail author
Reference work entry


The aim of this chapter is to analyze ethical issues of humanoid-human interaction in contrast to human-human interplay. In the introduction, the question about the nature of the artificial based on the research by Massimo Negrotti lays the ground for the difference between humanoids and humans. The first part deals with a historical overview of the concept of human intelligence and humanoids in the context of art and labor. Looking at humanoids in the context of art does not make it unreasonable to predict that humanoids will lose their aura created in movies and novels and become part of everyday life in the twenty-first century. Humanoids in the context of labor takes us to seminal texts of Western thought, particularly from Aristotle’s analysis of the nature of slaves and servants as being replaceable by nonliving instruments. A quote commented by Karl Marx in the context of his Political Economy becomes an important topic in the present debate about labor and robotics in the digital era. The second part of this chapter deals with ethical issues of humanoid-human interaction as distinct from the interplay between human beings. The ethical task concerning humanoid-human interaction is to raise the awareness of this ethical difference learning to see and evaluate how far and in which contexts and situations the algorithms guiding the actions of humanoids can make sense or not for human agents in general and more vulnerable patients in particular. This task is explained through examples derived from the field of health care. Descriptive and normative ethical issues of robotics and humanoids are embedded in cultural traditions of which an example is given with regard to the ongoing discussions on robo-ethics in Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Center for Information Ethics (ICIE)KarlsruheGermany

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