3 Do robots care? Towards an anthropocentric framework in the caring of frail individuals through assistive technology [chapter]

Andrea Bertolini, Shabahang Arian, Jochen Vollmann, Johanna Hovemann, Joschka Haltaufderheide
2020 Aging between Participation and Simulation  
As a consequence of modern medicine and modern style of living, two demographic trends, namely longevity and a decline in fertility have greatly increased the aging population. The number of older persons aged 60 years or over is expected to be 1.4 billion by 2030 (World Population Data 2017). This demographic change combined with changes in family structure challenges the future of elderly care, and contributes to grounding a case towards the use of advanced robotics and AI to either integrate
more » ... to either integrate or radically replace human-provided services in this field. This paper introduces an anthropocentric framework - as defined by the European Commission in its 2018 Communication on AI - for the care of elderly individuals through assistive robotic technologies. Firstly, the concepts of care and cure are distinguished, followed by a critical analysis of the function of robots in the context of care. The paper continues with an analysis of the aforesaid technologies with the notion of care provided to highlight that machines have the potential to interact and simulate a relationship, but not to establish a real meaningful one with the user. User's deception and deprivation of a meaningful care-relationship is discussed as a potential risk emerging from an incorrect use of technology in the treatment of fragile individuals, and the fundamental legal principle of human dignity is considered with respect to its potential application and impact on policies in this domain, as an objective criterion that poses limits also to the individual's freedom of self-determination.
doi:10.1515/9783110677485-003 fatcat:u2y5e4yrqfbnzomlccanbj57ty