Robots as Animals: A Framework for Liability and Responsibility in Human-Robot Interactions

18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication 2009

6 Pages Posted: 30 May 2013  

Enrique Schaerer

Yale University - Law School

Richard Kelley

University of Nevada, Reno

Monica Nicolescu

University of Nevada, Reno

Date Written: September 27, 2009

Abstract

As robots become more common across society, there is a pressing need to deal with questions of moral responsibility and legal liability in accidents involving semi-autonomous and autonomous machines. Previous attempts to address these questions have assumed machines with either minimal autonomy or full intelligence, and thus have not adequately considered the current and likely future state of the art in robotics and artificial intelligence. In this paper, we offer general principles to make sense of the foregoing issues, and propose a framework for addressing questions of responsibility and liability in human-robot interaction. This approach is based on the premise that robots can be analogized to animals for the purpose of assigning responsibility and liability when robots are involved in accidents. We provide justification for this approach, consider its implications, and discuss several of its advantages in analyzing human-robot interactions.

Keywords: robots, roboethics, robot-human interactions, moral responsibility, legal liability, semi-autonomous machines, autonomous machines, artificial intelligence, robots as animals

Suggested Citation

Schaerer, Enrique and Kelley, Richard and Nicolescu, Monica, Robots as Animals: A Framework for Liability and Responsibility in Human-Robot Interactions (September 27, 2009). 18th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2271466

Enrique Schaerer (Contact Author)

Yale University - Law School ( email )

127 Wall St.
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Richard Kelley

University of Nevada, Reno ( email )

Reno, NV 89557
United States

Monica Nicolescu

University of Nevada, Reno ( email )

Reno, NV 89557
United States

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