The IT ethics refers to the ethical considerations regarding the impact of technology on the society. The IT ethics is a part of ethical philosophy which provides guidelines regarding the professional and ethical conduct. With the advent of computers and internet, several ethical issues regarding the security and privacy have emerged (Sher, 2012). The IT ethics try to address these issues. Recently, the area of Artificial intelligence has emerged. Robots have become an integral part of the daily lives and commonly used in various daily life chores. With the deep intrusion of the robots in the daily lives of the people, the notion of forming romantic relationships with them has emerged. It is also supported by creation of various films like Ex Machina. A recent study by IEEE stated that most women will prefer to form romantic relationship with robots rather than men by 202vit5 and by 2050, most of the people will prefer to enter into a relationship with a robot. Recently, a large number of robots have been developed with the focus of providing companionship to the humans (Rozenfeld, 2016). However, using robots for sexual purposes is an ethical issue when the humans are having relationship with someone else. Another ethical issue in forming relationships with humans is that the robots can never love back a human being. In this regard, the present essay will analyze the ethical issue of forming romantic relationships with robots in the light of major ethical theories.
The notion of finding romantic companionship with robots is attractive as everyone can find long-lasting love with the perfect companion. The humans can program robot according to their nature. Therefore, the robots will be programmed to love, to never nag, respond positively, responsive to companion’s moods and act as a perfect partner. According to utilitarian theory, the morality of an action should be judged according to its consequences. It states that the criteria to judge an action should be based on its consequences on the society and the major stakeholders. The utilitarian theory states that all the actions are correct which have better outcomes for the society (Mill, 2006). When the utilitarian theory is applied to the present case, it can be stated that the robot-human relationships will have a negative impact on the society. Although a large number of humans form attachment to materialistic things such as cars, the human beings need to have romantic relationships with the humans. Although with the recent development in technology, the intelligence of the robots has drastically increased and they are able to identify human emotions and respond to them, they will not be able to form emotional bond as they do not have a soul. Moreover, a human being forming sexual relationship with a robot will be categorized as infidelity if he is already in a relationship or married (Robertson, 2014).
The deontological theory of ethics states that a person should always follow ethical set of rules. The morality of an action should be judged according to its adherence to the societal rules and norms. According to the deontological ethics, the morality of an action can be judged according to its adherence to the specific rules or norms. In deontological ethics, the morality of an action is judged according to the adherence of that action with the norms followed by an individual. If an individual is following a different morality framework, his action cannot be judged. Moreover, the ethical norms should be developed according to reason rather that the experience. According to deontological ethical, the development of either platonic or sexual relationship with robots is significantly wrong (Barrow, 2015). The human are social creatures; however, they should only form relationship with other humans as the machines are not able to reciprocate the same feelings. Forming relationships with robots is only disillusioning. Moreover, it will also increase the instances of the infidelity in the human beings and emotional issues between the couples in relationships. It will also increase the criminal sexual urges as pedophiles may use robot instances which will increase the incidence of abusing real children (Choi, 2007).
Virtue ethics is another major ethical philosophy which states that the morality of an action could be judged according to the upbringing and the character of an individual. The virtue ethics is essential for ethical behavior of the human beings. It states that the ethical behavior of a person is dependent upon his character rather than adherence to certain rules (Timmons, 2012). With the advent of the computers or internet, certain ethical issues have arisen. In the beginning, the ethical issues were limited to the privacy and security of the internet users; however, with the development of the artificial intelligence the machines are following similar functions as that of human beings. The robots have intruded deeply into the lives of the people and they are forming deep emotional connection with them. However, it is ethical to promote this kind of relationship as the machines cannot love us back. The formation of such relationships will not be as fulfilling as the human relationships. Moreover, if a large number of people will form relationship with robots, it will also decrease the birth rate in the country. Therefore, the promotion of robot-human relationship is ethically wrong (Lin, 2016).
When the prospect of the human-robot relationship is analyzed by the social contract theory framework, it comes out as morally ethical action. According to this theory, the human beings form relationship with the members of the society in which they live. According to this theory, the people should contract with the members of society and act according to it (Hinman, 2012). When examining the prospect of the robot-human relationship with the lens of this theory, it could be critiqued that the human relationship is important part of the society. The human beings remain connected with each other due to different relationships formed with people. When the robots intrude in the human relationships, it will change the nature of the human relationships and their relationships with other members of the society (Welsh, 2015). The contractual ethical theory is different from other ethical theories as it states that a person seeks the justification with the other members of the society regarding the morality of actions. For instance, a child born and brought up in the family of thieves will not consider it as a wrong action. So, forming relationships with the robots can be considered as an individual choice of the people.
The evaluation of the prospect of the relationship between robots and the human beings with the lens of different ethical theories, it can be states that it raises several ethical issues. Although, it provides the opportunity to the humans to find their soul mates who have the preferential behavior and characteristic. It raises several ethical issues. It will not be good for the society, as the relationships thus formed will not be as fulfilling as the robots are not able to love back the human beings. It can also increases the instances of criminal sexual urges
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