Emerging technologies in domestic scenarios: designing 'ethical responsibility' at an early stage

This project is externally funded by the EPSRC

In 2017, an estimated 2 million UK adults experienced domestic abuse, a crime that is often not reported to police and entails “patterns of abusive behaviour to maintain power or control in a relationship”.  

Recent research has revealed the potential for ‘smart’ technologies to be weaponized against victims of domestic abuse, termed as ‘smart abuse’ (e.g. using Internet of Things devices to control temperature, light and record victims).

However, there is also the potential for domestic robots to be similarly misused in this way,  raising  challenges  regarding  how  to  design  them  to  act  in  an  ethical  manner to  operate within complexities of domestic abuse.

 This project aims to develop design guidelines that ensure domestic robot technologies do not facilitate  domestic  abuse.

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