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War and Ethics,

Robotics is intruding into society at an ever increasing pace, manifesting its impact at home, the workplace, in healthcare, and the battlefield to name a few. While we rush headlong into this embrace of technological advancement, we might be wary of falling prey to our own designs. The seductions of science, elevated to the levels of “gadget worship” by Wiener [Conway and Siegelman 06], can bring into question not only what we are creating, but also what we, as humanity, are becoming. As robotics moves toward ubiquity in our society, there has been little concern for the consequences of this proliferation [Sharkey 08]. Robotic systems are close to being pervasive, with applications involving human-robot relationships already in place or soon to occur, involving warfare, childcare, eldercare, and personal and potentially intimate relationships. Without sounding alarmist, it is important to understand the nature and consequences of this new technology on human-robot relationships. To ensure societal expectations are met, this will require an interdisciplinary scientific endeavor to model and incorporate ethical behavior into these intelligent artifacts from the onset, not as a post hoc activity.