Design of Robotic Care: Ethical Implications of a Multi-Actor Perspective

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A3 Kirjan tai muun kokoomateoksen osa
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Service Design Practices for Healthcare Innovation
The topic of ethically-sound robotic design is timely and societally relevant as service robots have roles with increasingly social demands in diverse service contexts. Robots fill caregiving roles for vulnerable consumers, including older adults and children. This chapter presents an empirical study investigating social and ethical ramifications of robotic elderly care from the perspective of those receiving and those providing care. Consequently, 36 actors (i.e., older adults, informal and formal caregivers) were interviewed through generative phenomenographic interviews. This approach leveraged data-rich narratives and informant-made visualizations of future networks of care to uncover their expectations and concerns. A multi-actor perspective on the ethical implications of robotic care is captured with three thematic maps built around: 1) assistance, 2) monitoring, and 3) companionship. The results indicate that social robots could improve the well-being of older adults and wider care-providing networks through service, constant presence, and increased reliability. However, the visualizations of future robotic care uncovered informants’ additional latent fears, in addition to ethical concerns found (e.g., decline in agency, loss of privacy, delusion). For example, formal caregivers who emphasized that they do not fear robots replacing their jobs would not place the robot close to the older person in the visualization of future care constellations. This suggests that although formal caregivers tend to give “desirable” responses in interviews, they are still reluctant to accept robots as care co-providers.
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Caic , M , Holmlid , S , Mahr , D & Odekerken-Schröder , G 2022 , Design of Robotic Care: Ethical Implications of a Multi-Actor Perspective . in M A. Pfannstiel , N Brehmer & C Rasche (eds) , Service Design Practices for Healthcare Innovation : Paradigms, Principles, Prospects . Springer , Cham, Switzerland , pp. 381-398 .