Recently I was reading an article on The New Social Worker website regarding the ethical implications of using artificial intelligence in social work. Referenced article can be found in the embedded link below:
The premise of the article is due to the development of artificial intelligence and the development of various robots will there come a time where robots have a place carved out in social work. This could look like a robot that helps with skills, resource connection, or even giving some kind of social interaction to isolated client populations.
After thinking about this article for a few weeks I have boiled down my thoughts to three concerns:
- What are the ethical ramifications? If for instance the robot does something wrong who is the liable party? The manufacturer, the programer, the social worker who made the referral? If it is the social worker is there then some repercussion on their licensure?
- How will the robots be monitored? After living through a cyber attack and reading about various cyber attacks on hospitals, I am not so trusting of technology? Could a robot be forced or reprogramed for malicious intent? How do we safeguard our clients from this?
- Access is a key point brought up in the article, is that a robot could be availible any day and any time, giving flexibility, but the article then places the responsibility of breakdowns of the services on the refering provider. Will this set a standard where normal humans need to be accessible to their clients 24/7, will there be an on call rota for this robot? What are the implications on the providers themselves?
Essentially is this a tool or a liability?