Revenge Against Robots
20 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2017 Last revised: 29 Oct 2017
Date Written: August 9, 2017
When a robot hurts a human, how should the legal system respond? Our first instinct might be to ask who should pay for the harm caused, perhaps deciding to rest legal liability with the robot’s hardware manufacturer or its programmers. But besides considering tort or criminal actions against corporate and human persons, legal actors might also target the most immediate source of the harm — the robot itself.
By considering the role of revenge and psychological satisfaction in human disputes, this essay explores the benefits to human persons that could accrue through the corporeal punishment of robots. Along the way, the paper discusses dueling, deodands, free will, rogue gardeners, shooting down drones, and destroying printers with baseball bats.
Keywords: robots, revenge, deodands, torts
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation