Embedding ethics in the design of culturally competent socially assistive robots

Battistuzzi,, Linda, Papadopoulos, Chris, Papadopoulos, Irena ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6291-4332, Koulouglioti, Christina and Sgorbissa, Antonio (2018) Embedding ethics in the design of culturally competent socially assistive robots. 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). In: IROS 2018: 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 01-05 Oct 2018, Madrid, Spain. ISBN 9781538680940. ISSN 2153-0866 [Conference or Workshop Item] (doi:10.1109/IROS.2018.8594361)

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Research focusing on the development of socially assistive robots (SARs) that will promote the health, well-being and quality of life of older persons and of their caregivers has been growing in recent years. This growth has prompted a great deal of ethical reflection on the future of SARs in care, but there is an increasing awareness of the divide that often separates the settings in which ethics research and debate take place from those where technological innovation is practiced.
Different frameworks have been proposed to handle the ethical dimension of technology from within the design and development process, including Value Sensitive Design (VSD). VSD has been defined as a theoretically grounded approach to the design of technology that accounts for human values in a principled and comprehensive manner throughout the design process.
Inspired in part by VSD, we have developed a process geared towards embedding ethics at the core of CARESSES, an international multidisciplinary project that aims to design the first culturally competent SAR for the care of older adults. Here we describe that process, including how we utilized qualitative thematic analysis to extract key ethical concepts from relevant ethical guidelines (Alzheimer Europe's Guidelines and Position on the Ethical Use of Assistive Technologies for/by People with Dementia), and how we applied those concepts to the scenarios that describe how the CARESSES robot will interact with individuals belonging to different cultures and provide the grounding for its cultural competence. This straightforward approach highlights the ethical implications of the robot’s behavior during the design process and thus it enables researchers to identify and engage with ethical problems proactively, rather than restrict ethics to retrospective assessments. With suitable modifications, it may be usefully applied in other research projects involving SARs.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 24838
Notes on copyright: © 2018 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
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Depositing User: Christina Koulouglioti
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2018 12:17
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:36
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/24838

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