Robots, Ethics, and Intimacy: The Need for Scientific Research

  • Jason BorensteinEmail author
  • Ronald Arkin
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 134)


Intimate relationships between robots and human beings may begin to form in the near future. Market forces, customer demand, and other factors may drive the creation of various forms of robots to which humans may form strong emotional attachments. Yet prior to the technology becoming fully actualized, numerous ethical, legal, and social issues must be addressed. This could be accomplished in part by establishing a rigorous scientific research agenda in the realm of intimate robotics, the aim of which would be to explore what effects the technology may have on users and on society more generally. Our goal is not to resolve whether the development of intimate robots is ethically appropriate. Rather, we contend that if such robots are going to be designed, then an obligation emerges to prevent harm that the technology could cause.


Social robotics Intimate relationships Affective bonding Embodied robots Well-being 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Ethics and Technology, School of Public PolicyIvan Allen College of Liberal ArtsAtlantaUSA

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