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Can A Robot Act As A Witness?

Nishtha Anil Trivedi, GLS Law College


The development of responsible robotics necessitates a focus on accountability both throughout the research process and as a result of the research. This paper covers the development and deployment of a novel strategy for investigating dangerous human-robot interactions. The Virtual Witness Testimony role-play interview is a method that allows participants to interact with scenarios in which a human is physically harmed while a robot is present and may have malfunctioned. Participants determine what steps they would do in the situation and are invited to share their observations and hypotheses about what occurred. Data collection occurs online, which provides convenience as well as a safe environment for participants to role play a hazardous encounter with little chance of discomfort or upset. We describe how our initial set of Virtual Witness Testimony role-play interviews were conducted in detail, and how it proved to be an efficient approach that produced relevant data while upholding our project commitments to Responsible Research and Innovation. We believe that the Virtual Witness Testimony role-play interview is a versatile and fruitful method that may be customized to enhance human-robot interaction research and promote robotics responsibility.

Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

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