Could a Robot Care? It's All in the Movement

Darian Meacham, Matthew Studley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

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In this chapter, we ask if care robots can care. The standard and indeed intuitive response to such a question is no. This response is premised on the argument that care requires internal cognitive and emotional states that robots lack. We explore arguments that belie this conclusion. We argue that care robots may participate in the creation of caring environments through certain types of expressive movement, irrespective of the existence of internal emotional states or intentions. We address three possible objections to this argument and argue that none of them is lethal to our hypothesis. Finally, we examine evidence that despite phenomenological similarity, such human–robot interactions are not neurologically equivalent to human–human interactions and seem to show a difference in intensity. We note that this may change as robots become more widespread and we evolve social and cognitive structures to accept them in our daily lives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRobot Ethics 2.0: From Autonomous Cars to Artificial Intelligence
EditorsPatrick Lin, Keith Abney, Ryan Jenkins
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)978-0190652951
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Robotics
  • Ethics
  • Autonomous Cars
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Public Policy

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