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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2013

Aimee van Wynsberghe

With the rapid and pervasive introduction of robots into human environments, ethics scholars along with roboticists are asking how ethics can be applied to the discipline…

1051

Abstract

Purpose

With the rapid and pervasive introduction of robots into human environments, ethics scholars along with roboticists are asking how ethics can be applied to the discipline of robotics. The purpose of this paper is to provide a concrete example of incorporating ethics into the design process of a robot in healthcare.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach for including ethics in the design process of care robots used in this paper is called the Care‐Centered Value Sensitive Design (CCVSD) approach. The CCVSD approach presented here provides both an outline of the components demanding ethical attention as well as a step‐by‐step manner in which such considerations may proceed in a prospective manner throughout the design process of a robot. This begins from the moment of idea generation and continues throughout the design of various prototypes. In this paper, this approach's utility and prospective methodology are illustrated by proposing a novel care robot, the “wee‐bot”, for the collection and testing of urine samples in a hospital context.

Findings

The results of applying the CCVSD approach inspired the design of a novel robot for the testing of urine in pediatric oncology patients – the “wee‐bot” robot – and showed that it is possible to successfully incorporate ethics into the design of a care robot by exploring and prescribing design requirements. In other words, the use of the CCVSD approach allowed for the translation of ethical values into technical design requirements as was shown in this paper.

Practical implications

This paper provides a practical solution to the question of how to incorporate ethics into the design of robots and bridges the gap between the work of roboticists and robot ethicists so that they may work together in the design of a novel care robot.

Social implications

In providing a solution to the issue of how to address ethical issues in the design of robots, the aim is to mitigate issues of societal concern regarding the design, development and implementation of robots in healthcare.

Originality/value

This paper is the first and only presentation of a concrete prospective methodology for including ethics into the design of robots. While the example given here is tailored to the healthcare context, the approach can be adjusted to fit another context and/or robot design.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Aimee van Wynsberghe and Jeroen van der Ham

The purpose of this paper is to develop a novel approach for the ethical analysis of data collected from an online file-sharing site known as The PirateBay. Since the…

779

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a novel approach for the ethical analysis of data collected from an online file-sharing site known as The PirateBay. Since the creation of Napster back in the late 1990s for the sharing and distribution of MP3 files across the Internet, the entertainment industry has struggled to deal with the regulation of information sharing at large. Added to the ethical questions of censorship and distributive justice are questions related to the use of data collected from such file-sharing sites for research purposes.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is based on previous work analysing the use of data from online social networking sites and involves value analysis of the collection of data throughout the data’s various life cycles.

Findings

This paper highlights the difficulties faced when attempting to apply a deontological or utilitarian approach to cases like the one used here. With this in mind, the authors point to a virtue ethics approach as a way to address ethical issues related to data sharing in the face of ever-changing data gathering and sharing practices.

Practical implications

This work is intended to provide a concrete approach for ethical data sharing practices in the domain of Internet security research.

Originality/value

The approach presented in this paper is a novel approach combining the insights from: the embedded values concept, value-sensitive design and the approach of the embedded ethicist.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 13 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Bernd Carsten Stahl and Charles M Ess

The purpose of this paper is to give an introduction to the special issue by providing background on the ETHICOMP conference series and a discussion of its role in the…

242

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to give an introduction to the special issue by providing background on the ETHICOMP conference series and a discussion of its role in the academic debate on ethics and computing. It provides the context that influenced the launch of the conference series and highlights its unique features. Finally, it provides an overview of the papers in the special issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper combines an historical account of ETHICOMP and a review of the existing papers.

Findings

ETHICOMP is one of the well-established conference series (alongside IACAP and CEPE) focused on ethical issues of information and computing. Its special features include: multidisciplinary and diversity of contributors and contributions; explicit outreach to professionals whose work is to design, build, deploy and maintain specific computing applications in the world at large; creation of knowledge that is accessible and relevant across fields and disciplines; intention of making a practical difference to development, use and policy of computing principles and artefacts; and creation of an inclusive, supportive and nurturing community across traditional knowledge silos.

Originality/value

The paper is the first one to explicitly define the nature of ETHICOMP which is an important building block in the future development of the conference series and will contribute to the further self-definition of the ETHICOMP community.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 13 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

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