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The Overview of Sharkey's Article Ethical Frontiers of Robotics

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“Ethical frontiers of robotics” is a short text by Noel Sharkey which tries to focus on the advancement of scientific knowledge to the level of manufacturing robots that are about to take over the human responsibilities.

The text mainly concentrates on the integration of robotic machines into two vital areas of the human life:

  • Robots for care- robots being used to take care of young children and also the elderly relatives.
  • Robots for warfare- Robots replacing the human military personnel during times of war.

Sharkey also argues that robotics is no longer used in industries alone, the can efficiently be efficient caregivers. This has resulted in an increased purchase of robotic machines which ranged from 5 million in 2008, and the predictions project 11 million robotic caregivers by the year 2011. A decrease of about 80% on the price of robots has resulted to the high purchase.

The idea of robotics replacing human beings in any aspect does not add up. An example where robotics are taking care of the elderly and young children. Though the robotic machines are capable of doing a good junk of work without getting tired, we forget that these individuals are human beings. They need the human touch, care, and love. A trait that robots cannot adequately perform regardless of how much-sophisticated advancements the scientists are going to apply on the robots.

He argues that though the robotics come with some advantages, the disadvantages may end up overweighing the advantages. A good example is ‘robots for warfare’, though it is advantageous for robots replacing the human military since it reduces, to some extent, the budget and also the death risk for the soldiers, Sharkey argues no computational system has been developed for the robot to distinguish between an enemy and an innocent civilian for that case in, therefore, making it a risky idea of the inclusion of robotics in military. This is the idea of robots replacing human military makes a good recipe for wiping out the human race with our knowledge and scientific advancements. A research in the United States by Sony Qurio on the usage of robotics especially in Japan and North Korea, suggests that children tend to develop a strong bond with the robotic machines. Maybe due to the entertainment the robotics provide with the computer games the robots come with. This, to many parents, may seem to be advantageous because it keeps the child busy and therefore the folks are able to attend to other duties. Little do they know that this creates a breeding space for antisocial behaviors in kids. A trait that is dangerous to the existence of the human race because we need each other to survive in this planet.

Therefore, the robotic developers must be mindful of their knowledge and how they apply it and the dangers they are exposing the human race too. They should just ‘let human beings be’.

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The Overview of Sharkey’s Article Ethical Frontiers of Robotics. (2018, October 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 24, 2021, from
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