Ryan Blake Jackson and Tom Williams


RO-MAN 2021 Workshop on Gendering Robots: Ongoing (Re)configurations of Gender in Robotics

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The principle of procreative beneficence (PPB) is the idea that parents should use all available genetic, reproductive, and other technologies to select the child, of the possible children they could have, who is expected to have the best life based on all available information. The application of this principle to human reproduction has been extremely controversial, but scholars have argued that it may be applied more aptly and less problematically to the creation of robots with significant moral status (that is, robots with some meaningful personal well-being). We argue that, while some arguments against the PPB in human reproduction are less relevant to robot production, the PPB is still fundamentally at odds with the broader social good when applied to the creation of robots.