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What might machines capable of moral behaviour effectively mean in practice? The Swedish fiction series Real Humans presents an interesting spin on this question. ‘Hubots‘ – a contraction of ‘human’ and ‘robot’ – live together with human beings. They then revolt and demand more rights. People should not only have respect for them, but also take their concerns seriously. This type of robot can also be held morally and legally responsible. If it ever turns out that robots are morally better (less fallible) than we are, then in principle they may become our ‘moral mentors.’

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About the author

Author profile picture Katleen Gabriels is a moral philosopher specializing in computer ethics at Maastricht University. She conducts research into the relationships between morality and computer technologies.