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Title: Somebody That I Used to Know: The Risks of Personalizing Robots for Dementia Care
Robots have great potential to support people with dementia (PwD) and their caregivers. They can provide support for daily living tasks, conduct household chores, provide companionship, and deliver cognitive stimulation and training. Personalizing these robots to an individual’s abilities and preferences can help enhance the quality of support they provide, increase their usability and acceptability, and alleviate caregiver burden. However, personalization can also introduce many risks, including risks to the safety and autonomy of PwD, the potential to exacerbate social isolation, and risks of being taken advantage of due to dark patterns in robot design. In this article, we weigh the risks and benefits by drawing on empirical data garnered from the existing ecosystem of robots used for dementia caregiving. We also explore ethical considerations for developing personalized cognitively assistive robots for PwD, including how a robot can practice beneficence to PwD, where responsibility falls when harm to a PwD occurs because of a robot, and how a robot can acquire informed consent from a PwD. We propose key technical and policy concepts to help robot designers, lawmakers, and others to develop personalized robots that protect users from unintended consequences, particularly for people with cognitive impairments.
Authors:
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1915734
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10333993
Journal Name:
In Proceedings of We Robot 2021
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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