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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Metaphors are essential tools for helping us to interpret new technologies, integrate them into our daily lives and govern them appropriately. Metaphors link the unfamiliar to the familiar. However, metaphors are often partial and unstable, especially in their application to emerging technologies, such as robots—robots are here, but we have yet to decide on the many roles that robots will occupy in society. Metaphors also tend to promote certain values over others. Applying a particular metaphor to a technology thus casts that technology in a political role. In this chapter, we promote metaphor hacking, a playful and practical methodology for identifying and analysing potential metaphors that might be applied in the governance of technology. We argue that metaphor hacking allows us to anticipate some of the governance and ethical issues that could emerge around a technology owing to the metaphors we choose for describing them.

Keywords: technology metaphors, design, robotics, robot ethics, driverless cars, robotics policy, robotics law, analogical reasoning

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