When Will People Regard Robots as Morally Competent Social Partners?


Collection: Proceedings of Ro-Man

Bertram Malle and Matthias Scheutz

We propose that moral competence consists of five distinct but related elements: (1) having a system of norms; (2) mastering a moral vocabulary; (3) exhibiting moral cognition and affect; (4) exhibiting moral decision making and action; and (5) engaging in moral communication. We identify some of the likely triggers that may convince people to (justifiably) ascribe each of these elements of moral competence to robots. We suggest that humans will treat robots as moral agents (who have some rights, obligations, and are targets of blame) if they perceive them to have at least elements (1) and (2) and one or more of elements (3)-(5).

  title={When Will People Regard Robots as Morally Competent Social Partners?},
  author={Bertram Malle and Matthias Scheutz},
  booktitle={Proceedings of Ro-Man},