Focusing on proxy relationships allows us to shift our focus away from a strictly causal model of responsibility and focus also on a proxy model informed by an ethical analysis of the nature of the designer-artefact-user relationship. By doing so I argue that we gain some traction on problems of responsibility with semi-autonomous robots. I examine two cases to demonstrate how a shift towards a proxy model of responsibility, and away from a strictly causal model of responsibility helps to manage risks and provides a more accurate accounting of responsibility in some use contexts. I offer some suggestions how we might decide whom a robot ought legitimately to be acting on behalf of, while offering some thoughts on what legal and ethical implications my argument carries for designers and users.
Jason Millar will present Proxy Prudence – Rethinking Models of Responsibility for Semi-autonomous Robots on Friday, April 4th at 10:15 AM with discussant Peter Asaro at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida.