M. Ryan Calo
Robots and Privacy – draft book chapter

Professor Calo’s book chapter on robotics and privacy marks out important categories of privacy, relating from both society and law, that will potentially change disruptively as robots become even more common throughout society and home environs.  This chapter touches on ethics, but more important provides analysis across the privacy spectra, and this argument in turn inform consideration of the ethical ramifications of robotics when personal privacy and the related concept of personal freedom are part of the consideration. 

Questions:

1. page 8-9: Prof. Calo recalls the work of Weizenbaum in considering the future impact of voice recognition technologies as funded by the Office of Naval Research decades ago.  His suggestion is that there are ethical considerations at play in how advancing robotic technologies chain us toward a possible future where robots have negative ethical impact.  What can you suggest as concrete examples of such ethically worst-case future scenarios?  Draw a line from today’s research (be as specific as possible) to your conjectured future, and describe the repercussions in an ethical framework.

 

2. pp 18-20; Calo states that people respond to social machines as if a person were present, and he goes on to describe how people avoid damaging machines, and exhibit other signs of following anthropocentric social conventions even when interacting with such machines.  How do you respond to these claims? Agree and justify or disagree and explain.  In either case, consider other interactive devices (e.g. mobile phones, computer, etc.) and see if you can provide evidence for your point of view by considering human behavior with other systems in today’s society.

 

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