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Expert Insights on Robots for Safeguarding Children: How (not) and Why (not)?

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Peer-reviewed

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Authors

Levinson, Leigh 
Abbasi, Nida 
Sabanovic, Selma 

Abstract

To investigate a robot's role in children's welfare and safety, we conducted interviews with 8 Subject Matter Experts and Professionals (SMEs) across the disciplines of robotics, child technology, psychology, and psychiatry disciplines. Through qualitative analysis, we synthesize the challenges of safeguarding, compounding limitations, and potential solutions for involving robots in safeguarding as broadly defined in SME interviews. While they agree robots should not be responsible for making judgement calls, the experts also identified the ways robots can be a valuable addition to the safeguarding team. However, more conversations spanning disciplines need to occur to inform policy and legal frameworks that will better establish a robot's role in intimate spaces in children's lives. While this line of inquiry is specific to robots in safeguarding, many of the themes reflect the nuances of finding appropriate places for child-robot interactions in the context of children's welfare.

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23rd annual ACM Interaction Design and Children (IDC) Conference

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Sponsorship
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/R030782/1)