AI and Society 37 (2):425-441 (2022)

Robotics is currently not only a cutting-edge research area, but is potentially disruptive to all domains of our lives—for better and worse. While legislation is struggling to keep pace with the development of these new artifacts, our intellectual limitations and physical laws seem to present the only hard demarcation lines, when it comes to state-of-the-art R&D. To better understand the possible implications, the paper at hand critically investigates underlying processes and structures of robotics in the context of Heidegger’s and Nishitani’s accounts of science and technology. Furthermore, the analysis draws on Bauman’s theory of modernity in an attempt to assess the potential risk of large-scale robot integration. The paper will highlight undergirding mechanisms and severe challenges imposed upon our socio-cultural lifeworlds by massive robotic integration. Admittedly, presenting a mainly melancholic account, it will, however, also explore the possibility of robotics forcing us to reassess our position and to solve problems, which we seem unable to tackle without facing existential crises.
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DOI 10.1007/s00146-021-01203-2
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