Robot Enhanced Therapy for Autistic Children: An Ethical Analysis.

Date

2020-03-13

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

0278-0097

Volume Title

Publisher

IEEE

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

The use of social robots has been proposed for the delivery of therapy to autistic children. The aim of such projects, of which the DREAM project is an example, is to replace therapists by robots, operating in sensory environments which enable them to detect and respond to feedback from the child. This paper considers the ethical concerns of autonomy, community, transparency, identity, value and empathy to evaluate the ethics of such deployment of robots. In doing so it provides a response to Richardson et al article in IEEE Technology and Society [20]. It concludes that deployment of robots to control the behaviour of autistic children is ethically suspect and should be questioned. The use of robots with children should be evaluated on the basic of the purpose of and process by which it is deployed, rather than the technology itself. Particularly important is the robotist’s empathy with the user of the robot and gaining an understanding of the individual child. The paper suggests how an understanding of the autistic child might lead to sensitive deployment of a robot to help the child manage social environments through supporting the regulation of emotions.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

Citation

McBride Neil (2020) Robot Enhanced Therapy for Autistic Children: An Ethical Analysis. IEE Technology and Society, 39 (1) pp. 51-60

Rights

Research Institute

Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR)