Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New Paper - Robots, Law and the Retribution Gap

Apologies for the dearth of posts lately, I'll be back to more regular blogging soon enough. To fill the gap, here's a new paper I have coming out in the journal Ethics and Information Technology. In case you are interested, the idea for this paper originated in this blogpost from late 2014. I was somewhat ignorant of the literature back then; I know more now.

Title: Robots, Law and the Retribution Gap
Journal: Ethics and Information Technology
Links: Philpapers; Academia; Official
Abstract: We are living through an era of increased robotisation. Some authors have already begun to explore the impact of this robotisation on legal rules and practice. In doing so, many highlight potential liability gaps that might arise through robot misbehaviour. Although these gaps are interesting and socially significant, they do not exhaust the possible gaps that might be created by increased robotisation. In this article, I make the case for one of those alternative gaps: the retribution gap. This gap arises from a mismatch between the human desire for retribution and the absence of appropriate subjects of retributive blame. I argue for the potential existence of this gap in an era of increased robotisation; suggest that it is much harder to plug this gap than it is to plug those thus far explored in the literature; and then highlight three important social implications of this gap.

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