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Laying the foundations for a responsible robotics revolution

With the use of robots in all walks of life at a tipping point, it is time for action on the ethical and social dimensions of increasing automation, say Noel Sharkey and Aimee van Wynsberghe.

Throughout the 1980s, the internet was almost entirely populated by academics. A decade later, it had broken loose and was changing the world and being put to uses that few of us could have imagined.

Robotics is close to a similar turning point. Robot sales increased dramatically in 2014, rising to $32 billion worldwide. The International Federation of Robotics predicts even sharper rises in the years to come, with sales of industrial robots expected to nearly double between 2014 and 2018.

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