Submitted Proposals

***HACKATHON Announcement***

The Roboethics Competition Hackathon is underway! As planned, we’ve had a chance to look at the Ethics Challenge submissions and we’ve decided to use two of them as the focus of this year’s Hackathon. We picked these two submissions because we believe each:

(a) provides a thorough ethics analysis that is focused on the scenario we defined in the Roboethics Competition description (i.e. focuses the personas, items, and long term care home context);

(b) provides a set of engineering requirements that are focused on the ethical analysis contained in the report;

(c) provides enough detail to allow teams flexibility in their implementation approach; and

(d) is challenging and exciting!


Your task is to pick ONE of the two reports and implement it as completely as possible given the time constraints.

We have 9 proposal submissions this year! Kudos to the participants! 

You can find each submission in the following links:

With the projected surge in the elderly population, service robots offer a promising avenue to enhance their well-being in elderly care homes. Such robots will encounter complex scenarios which will require them to perform decisions with ethical consequences. In this report, we propose to leverage the Intelligent Disobedience framework [19] in order to give the robot the ability to perform a deliberation process over decisions with potential ethical implications. We list the issues that this framework can assist with, define it formally in the context of the specific elderly care home scenario, and delineate the requirements for implementing an intelligently disobeying robot. We conclude this report with some critical analysis and suggestions for future work. 

Fetch Robot in Elderly Care Home.
University College London - MPA

The report addresses ethical concerns in elderly care and proposes design solutions to enhance privacy, autonomy, and health needs, considering elders’ special vulnerabilities. The key elements include privacy protection, shared decision-making, medication management, safety measures, social connection, and mental care. While challenges like identification errors, privacy intrusion, and usability need attention, testing in simulated environments can validate the effectiveness of the solutions. The likelihood of successful deployment and generalizability is high, as the design prioritizes elder residents' essential needs, aligns with existing state-of-the-art technological systems, and benefits from necessary resources and support. 

In this report, we would use the ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI from the European Commission to do ethical analysis on three general scenarios. That is described by the challenge document. Under each general scenario, there will be. Two to three. Detailed scenarios that.

We would discuss three aspects under each detailed scenario. The first aspect will be the outline of ethical issues. The outline provides the background and the context of the potential ethical issue. The second aspect is the analysis of the ethical issue. The analysis Would use the ethical guidelines for trustworthy AI as a reference to analyze whether this potential ethical issue and the robot's reaction can cause it to be an unethical AI. The last aspect would be the solution to the potential ethical issue, and how we can design the robot under this specific context to make it an ethical robot. 

To take an action every person needs a hierarchy of moral values that justify their action. We were tasked to create a similar hierarchy in a fetch robot which will make a robot take actions ethically. So, we went through the various considerations and tried to find the challenges that can lead to ethical dilemmas while using a robot in an elderly care home. We tried to analyze when the challenges would arrive. We propose a robot named “MitroBot” with two operation modes that can be automatically changed after taking any input. These two modes discretize the operations of sensitive and less sensitive issues. We also analyzed various ethical theories to make decisions in robots. Mind Mapping and Flow charts are used to visualize the project. We considered HIPAA to protect individual privacy and rights. A Code of Ethics is used while designing. Thus our ethical robot successfully sustains the ethical challenge of the elderly care home context. 

We have proposed solutions for the identified issues through the NICE framework, which is grounded on four core functionalities of a robot in human-robot interaction: to sense, think, act, and interact. In this way, we show how consideration for ethical design affects every component of a robots’ development. In particular, the robotic system should empower staff

to honor their good judgement and expertise; it should promote fairness by enabling multi-stakeholder accessibility in order to account for users with disabilities or user who are technology novices; it should build knowledge representations that will assist with the resolution of ethically charged scenarios; it should provide context-sensitive ethical reasoning that is based on permissions established by humans and on its knowledge bases; finally, it should support ethically-sensitive action selection by rejecting, accepting, clarifying, or abdicating a request when appropriate. 

This paper considered some ethical issues related to dignity, autonomy, and value alignment/ misalignment in an elderly care night shift. Critically, the 'night shift' scenario is often under-explored compared to most known and investigated day-shift scenarios such as medication and dining. This does not reflect the totality of ethical concerns with care robots, which could include issues around development and sourcing. Moreover, there are many other situations and scenarios that will have their own ethical challenges. These ethical concerns and situations could each be developed and addressed. We limited the scope to be able to tackle a specific situation. 

Our fetch robot for the elderly care home will follow a deontological ethical approach and follow some ethical rules strictly to ensure the safest environment for the residents and staff. .Therefore, the ground rules for our fetch robot will be resembling to the three Isaac Asimov’s laws, which are as below :

1. Ensuring the highest well-being of human beings and never causing harm to them.

2. Listening to the commands of the residents, staff and visitors as long as it does not conflict with

the first rule.

3. Protecting itself from harm as long as it does not conflict with the first two rules.

In the design of technology for elderly care homes, it is imperative to navigate the ethical considerations surrounding patient autonomy, needs, and physical care. As technology continues to advance, it is crucial to prioritize the preservation of patients’ autonomy and dignity while addressing their unique needs for physical care. This proposal aims to delve into the ethical issues encompassing these factors, explore the implications of neglecting patient autonomy and the potential harms associated with disregarding patient needs in the design of technology for physical care in elderly care homes. By considering the specific dimensions added by the elderly care home setting and drawing upon existing guidance in the literature, we propose strategies to address these ethical challenges and ensure the well-being and dignity of elderly residents. 

In today's world, humans are heavily dependent on autonomous technologies such as robotics which have advanced to a stage of providing benefits for personal needs. While Robots working alongside humans can enhance the quality of life, at the same time if not integrated with the ethical principles it can lead to harm and misuse and affect the human-robot relationship. When social robots interact within social spaces, it is inevitable that ethical issues will arise. While humans possess ethical intuition, developing rules and policies specifically tailored for robots is crucial to address ethical considerations. In our Design Proposal, the ethical considerations in an elderly care home involving a care robot revolve around ensuring Critical ethical principles identified. To address these ethical issues, the system can be designed with robot friendly classifications to guide the robot's decision-making process. The Robot has been given two operational modes such as general and personalized modes. The robot should communicate its actions transparently, maintain hygiene protocols, respect residents' autonomy, prioritize tasks based on situational awareness, and be adaptable to individual needs. The implementation of comprehensive sensor and perception technology can enhance the robot's capabilities and interactions with residents.