We believe that, on ethical and scientific grounds, ACI should take a non-speciesist approach to research and, regardless of their species, all individuals involved in research should be regarded as participants, not merely as subjects, and should be treated with the same respect. In particular, we believe that ACI researchers have a responsibility to:
- acknowledge and respect the characteristics of all species participating in the research without discriminating against any of them
- treat both human and nonhuman participants as individuals equally deserving of consideration, respect and care according to their needs
- choose to work with a species only if the intent is to advance knowledge or develop technology that is beneficial or otherwise relevant to that particular species
- protect both human and nonhuman participants from physiological or psychological harm at all times, by employing research methods that are non-invasive, non-oppressive and non-depriving
- afford both human and nonhuman participants the possibility to make choice, including to withdraw from the interaction at any time, either temporarily or permanently
- obtain both mediated (from carers and legal guardians) and contingent (from the participant themselves) consent to the involvement of (human and nonhuman) animal participants.
To ensure that our ACI research is carried out under the highest ethical standards, we have developed an ACI Research Ethics protocol, which is presented in detail in:
Mancini, C. (2017). Towards an animal-centred ethics for Animal–Computer Interaction. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 98 pp. 221–233.