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Academics foster discussion on robot ethics

Researchers concerned about the rapid development of automation in everyday lives have formed a multidisciplinary foundation to consider the societal impacts of the technology.

The not-for-profit Foundation for Responsible Research was founded on the belief that “robots are only as responsible as the humans who build and use them”. The group argues that the design of robots implicitly reflects certain purposes, and that these purposes must be made transparent and subject to challenge.

Noel Sharkey, emeritus professor at the department of computing at the University of Sheffield and co-founder of the foundation, said: “Despite the disruptive impact of the increasing automation in our work places, our streets and our homes, only lip service is being paid to the long list of potential societal hazards.”

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