Vallor argues that a primary ethical issue evoked by contemporary technologies is the problem of “deskilling.” Again, caring is a virtue or a skill: “It is difficult to know how to care for people well – emotionally, physically, financially, and otherwise, in the right ways, at the right times, and for the right persons”. As with (more or less) all other technologies, carebots are designed to make our lives easier – in this case, to help “offload” or transfer the less pleasant and more difficult dimensions of caring, for example, for the elderly. While much of this would seem to be most welcome – first of all, for the primary care-givers – Vallor points out that such offloading thereby reduces our opportunities and requirements to cultivate and improve on our capacities to care. As we saw in the example of sexbots, then, the risk of relying more and more on technologies that demand less and less of us is that we ourselves become less capable of exercising the virtues requisite for good lives of flourishing – including caring, loving itself, as well as courage, and patience, perseverance, and empathy as essential to human communication, deep friendship, long-term intimate relationships, and so on. To state this more bluntly: such ethical deskilling, in the worst-case scenario, renders us more and more like the robots and machines we interact with.
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