Why indirect harms do not support social robot rights

Paula Sweeney* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


There is growing evidence to support the claim that we react differently to robots than we do to other objects. In particular, we react differently to robots with which we have some form of social interaction. In this paper I critically assess the claim that, due to our tendency to become emotionally attached to social robots, permitting their harm may be damaging for society and as such we should consider introducing legislation to grant social robots rights and protect them from harm. I conclude that there is little evidence to support this claim and that legislation in this area would restrict progress in areas of social care where social robots are a potentially valuable resource.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735–749
Number of pages15
JournalMinds and Machines
Early online date7 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

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