Ethics design and application robots
BS 8611 was written by a committee of scientists, academics, ethicists, philosophers and users to provide guidance on potential hazards and protective measures. It recognizes that potential ethical hazards arise from the growing number of robots and autonomous systems being used in everyday life. The standard highlights that ethical hazards have a broader implication than physical hazards. Hence it is important that different ethical harms and remedial considerations are duly considered.
Who is the standard for?
These guidelines are intended for use by robot and robotics device designers and managers. It’s also felt that the general public will benefit from the standard wherever end-products have effectively considered these guidelines.
What does the standard cover?
BS 8611 gives guidelines for the identification of potential ethical harm. Significant ethical hazards are presented for various robot applications.
The standard also provides additional guidelines to eliminate or reduce the risks associated with these ethical hazards to an acceptable level. These cover safe design, protective measures and information for the design and application of robots.
The standard builds on existing safety requirements for different types of robots, covering industrial, personal care and medical.
The standards notes that ethical hazards are broader than physical hazards. Most physical hazards are associated with psychological ones due to associated fear and stress. Thus, physical hazards imply ethical hazards and safety design features are part of ethical design. Safety elements are covered by safety standards however; this British Standard is concerned with the ethical elements.