There are terms that have become part of our daily language and we are no longer concerned with their meaning and etymology.
One of these terms is the word ethics, used when we discuss people’s behavior in particular situations, often conferring philosophic or religious connotations.
Ethics, from the ancient Greek word “èthos”, meaning character, habit, represents a set of norms and values that regulate human behavior related to others and sets a standard by which behavior is judged on a scale of virtuous and unvirtuous values.
In recent years, Robotics, an increasingly important scientific-technological discipline, called into question the relationship between scientific, cultural and technical knowledge and ethical, psychological and social problems that have been brought to the forefront within the discipline.
The need to assign a name to this social phenomenon, has led to the term Roboethics, that is, “ethics in the age of robots”.
The First International Symposium on Roboethics took place in 2004 in Sanremo, Italy, where scientists and humanists from all over the world met to discuss the guidelines for an ethical approach to ensure a non-harmful human-robot relationship.
For the event, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, the Italian Republic President at that time, wrote a wire:
“Such initiatives contribute to strengthen the new humanism based on compatible development and respect for individuals.”
Before then, the word Roboethics did not exist, but changes were taking place that would lead Robot to be part of what would be defined as “Public Concern”, a sentiment describing people’s attitude towards scientific products.
Robotics has brought scientific and humanistic culture closer, so Roboethics, a branch of ethics, which evaluates robotic technology and its effects on humans and society, adapted to fundamental guidelines in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that ratifies, among many other principles, the respect of dignity and human rights, benefits and disadvantages of every activity, the right to protect your personal data and the responsibility to defend the biosphere.
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