The Concept of [Friendliness] in Robotics: Ethical Challenges

  • Maria Isabel Aldinhas FerreiraEmail author
Part of the Intelligent Systems, Control and Automation: Science and Engineering book series (ISCA, volume 95)


Socially interactive robots differentiate from most other technologies in that they are embodied, autonomous, and mobile technologies capable of navigating, sensing, and interacting in social environments in a human-like way. By displaying behaviors that people identify as sentient such as showing to recognize people’s faces, making eye contact, and responding socially exhibiting emotions, robots create the illusion of interaction with a living being capable of affective reciprocity. The present paper discusses the ethical issues emerging from this context by analyzing the concept of [friendliness].


Social robots Empathy Affective behavior Friendliness Deception 


  1. 1.
    Sharkey AJC, Sharkey N (2010) The crying shame of robot nannies: an ethical appraisal. Interaction Studies 11:161–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Auger J (2014) Living With Robots: A Speculative Design Approach. Journal of Human-Robot Interaction 3(1):20–42. Scholar
  3. 3.
    Berger T (2005) Domestication of Media and Technology. Open University Press, Milton Keynes, United KingdomGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Breazeal C (2004) Designing sociable robots. MIT Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cacioppo J, Patrick B (2008) Loneliness: human nature and the need for social connection. Norton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
    Emmeche C (2014) Robot friendship: Can a robot be a friend? International Journal of Signs and Semiotic Systems 3(2). Insights from Natural and Artificial Systems, Special issue on The Semiosis of CognitionCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ferreira M, Sequeira J (2014) The concept of [robot] in children and teens: Some Guidelines to the Design of Social Robots. International Journal of Signs and Semiotic Systems 3(2):35–47Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ferreira M, Sequeira J (2016) Making Believe or Just Pretending: the Problem of Deception in Children/Robots Interaction. In: Advances in Cooperative Robotics-Proceedings of the 19th CLAWAR Conference, World Scientific Publishing, London. UKGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ferreira M, Sequeira J (2017) Robots in Ageing Societies. In: Sequeira J, Tohki O, Kadar E, Virk G (eds) Ferreira M. Springer International Publishing AG, A World with RobotsGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fox t, Dream Works (2000) Image Movers Playtone. Distributed by 2oth Century Fox (US) and Dream Works (International) . Release date 22 December 2000Google Scholar
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
    Paro robots (2018)
  14. 14.
    Sharkey N (2008) Computer science: the ethical frontiers of robotics. Science 322:1800–1801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sparrow R, Sparrow L (2006) In the hands of machines? The future of aged care. Mind Machines 16:141–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
  17. 17.
  18. 18.
    Turkle S (2011) Alone together: why we expect more from technology and less from each other. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    VerbeekPPCC, (2008) Morality in design: design ethics and technological mediation. In: Vermaas P, Kroes P, Light A, Moore S (eds) Philosophy and design: from engineering to architecture. Springer, Berlin, pp 91–102Google Scholar
  20. 20.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de LisboaFaculdade de Letras da Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Instituto Superior Técnico, Institute for Systems and RoboticsUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations