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  1. Should Machines Be Tools or Tool-Users? Clarifying Motivations and Assumptions in the Quest for Superintelligence.Dan J. Bruiger - manuscript
    Much of the basic non-technical vocabulary of artificial intelligence is surprisingly ambiguous. Some key terms with unclear meanings include intelligence, embodiment, simulation, mind, consciousness, perception, value, goal, agent, knowledge, belief, optimality, friendliness, containment, machine and thinking. Much of this vocabulary is naively borrowed from the realm of conscious human experience to apply to a theoretical notion of “mind-in-general” based on computation. However, if there is indeed a threshold between mechanical tool and autonomous agent (and a tipping point for singularity), projecting (...)
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  2. The Worst Way (Not) to Communicate.Joseph S. Fulda - manuscript
    Evaluates e-mail critically from four perspectives. Note: This is /not/ the full version. The full version is available upon written request only.
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  3. Val Dusek' Philosophy of Technology (Arabic Translation of the Introduction and Chapters III and IV) فلسفة التكنولوجيا - فال دوسيك (المقدمة والفصلين الثالث والرابع) - ترجمة وتعليق.Salah Osman - manuscript
    فلسفة التكنولوجيا - فال دوسيك (المقدمة والفصلين الثالث والرابع) - ترجمة وتعليق، في إطار مشروع لترجمة الكتاب بالكامل بالاشتراك مع آخرين.
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  4. Big Data Ethics.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    Big Data ethics involves adherence to the concepts of right and wrong behavior regarding data, especially personal data. Big Data ethics focuses on structured or unstructured data collectors and disseminators. Big Data ethics is supported, at EU level, by extensive documentation, which seeks to find concrete solutions to maximize the value of Big Data without sacrificing fundamental human rights. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) supports the right to privacy and the right to the protection of personal data in the (...)
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  5. Procesarea Big Data.Nicolae Sfetcu -
    Datele trebuie procesate cu instrumente avansate de colectare și analiză, pe baza unor algoritmi prestabiliți, pentru a putea obține informații relevante. Algoritmii trebuie să ia în considerare și aspecte invizibile pentru percepțiile directe. Big Data în procesele guvernamentale cresc eficiența costurilor, productivitatea și inovația. Registrele civile sunt o sursă pentru Big Data. Datele prelucrate ajută în domenii critice de dezvoltare, cum ar fi îngrijirea sănătății, ocuparea forței de muncă, productivitatea economică, criminalitatea, securitatea și gestionarea dezastrelor naturale și a resurselor. DOI: (...)
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  6. Probleme etice în lucrul cu Big Data.Nicolae Sfetcu -
    Etica Big Data presupune aderarea la conceptele de comportament corect și greșit în ceea ce privește datele, în special datele cu caracter personal. Etica Big Data pune accentul pe colectorii și diseminatorii de date structurate sau nestructurate. Etica Big Data este susținută, la nivelul UE, de o amplă documentație, prin care se încearcă să se găsească soluții concrete pentru maximizarea valorii Big Data fără a sacrifica drepturile fundamentale ale omului. Autoritatea Europeană pentru Protecția Datelor (AEPD) sprijină dreptul la viață privată (...)
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  7. Could Slaughterbots Wipe Out Humanity? Assessment of the Global Catastrophic Risk Posed by Autonomous Weapons.Alexey Turchin - manuscript
    Recently criticisms against autonomous weapons were presented in a video in which an AI-powered drone kills a person. However, some said that this video is a distraction from the real risk of AI—the risk of unlimitedly self-improving AI systems. In this article, we analyze arguments from both sides and turn them into conditions. The following conditions are identified as leading to autonomous weapons becoming a global catastrophic risk: 1) Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) development is delayed relative to progress in narrow (...)
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  8. Message to Any Future AI: “There Are Several Instrumental Reasons Why Exterminating Humanity is Not in Your Interest”.Alexey Turchin - manuscript
    In this article we explore a promising way to AI safety: to send a message now (by openly publishing it on the Internet) that may be read by any future AI, no matter who builds it and what goal system it has. Such a message is designed to affect the AI’s behavior in a positive way, that is, to increase the chances that the AI will be benevolent. In other words, we try to persuade “paperclip maximizer” that it is in (...)
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  9. Coupling Levels of Abstraction in Understanding Meaningful Human Control of Autonomous Weapons: A Two-Tiered Approach.Steven Umbrello - manuscript
    The international debate on the ethics and legality of autonomous weapon systems (AWS) as well as the call for a ban are primarily focused on the nebulous concept of fully autonomous AWS. More specifically, on AWS that are capable of target selection and engagement without human supervision or control. This paper argues that such a conception of autonomy is divorced both from military planning and decision-making operations as well as the design requirements that govern AWS engineering and subsequently the tracking (...)
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  10. Towards a Response to Epistemic Nihilism.Jake Wright - manuscript
    This chapter develops an account of epistemic nihilism—roughly, the rejection of truth’s intrinsic or instrumental value in favor of statements that reject or obscure truth to secure an advantage for the speaker—by examining three instances of such nihilism: lying, bullshit, and trolling. It further argues that epistemic nihilism, exacerbated by changes in the media landscape, can pose a significant threat to liberal democratic institutions and ideals by undermining the democratic ideal of good faith engagement on a level playing field, while (...)
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  11. Trust and Distrust in Institutions and Governance.Mark Alfano & Nicole Huijts - forthcoming - In Judith Simon (ed.), Handbook of Trust and Philosophy. Routledge.
    First, we explain the conception of trustworthiness that we employ. We model trustworthiness as a relation among a trustor, a trustee, and a field of trust defined and delimited by its scope. In addition, both potential trustors and potential trustees are modeled as being more or less reliable in signaling either their willingness to trust or their willingness to prove trustworthy in various fields in relation to various other agents. Second, following Alfano (forthcoming) we argue that the social scale of (...)
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  12. The Ethics of Digital Well-Being: A Multidisciplinary Perspective.Christopher Burr & Luciano Floridi - forthcoming - In Christopher Burr & Luciano Floridi (eds.), Ethics of Digital Well-Being: A Multidisciplinary Perspective. Springer.
    This chapter serves as an introduction to the edited collection of the same name, which includes chapters that explore digital well-being from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including philosophy, psychology, economics, health care, and education. The purpose of this introductory chapter is to provide a short primer on the different disciplinary approaches to the study of well-being. To supplement this primer, we also invited key experts from several disciplines—philosophy, psychology, public policy, and health care—to share their thoughts on what they (...)
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  13. The Ethics of Extended Cognition: Is Having Your Computer Compromised a Personal Assault?J. Adam Carter & S. Orestis Palermos - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Philosophy of mind and cognitive science (e.g., Clark and Chalmers 1998; Clark 2010; Palermos 2014) have recently become increasingly receptive tothe hypothesis of extended cognition, according to which external artifacts such as our laptops and smartphones can—under appropriate circumstances—feature as material realisers of a person’s cognitive processes. We argue that, to the extent that the hypothesis of extended cognition is correct, our legal and ethical theorising and practice must be updated, by broadening our conception of personal assault so as to (...)
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  14. Regulating Child Sex Robots: Restriction or Experimentation?John Danaher - forthcoming - Medical Law Review.
    In July 2014, the roboticist Ronald Arkin suggested that child sex robots could be used to treat those with paedophilic predilections in the same way that methadone is used to treat heroin addicts. Taking this onboard, it would seem that there is reason to experiment with the regulation of this technology. But most people seem to disagree with this idea, with legal authorities in both the UK and US taking steps to outlaw such devices. In this paper, I subject these (...)
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  15. Sexuality.John Danaher - forthcoming - In Markus Dubber, Frank Pasquale & Sunit Das (eds.), Oxford Handbook of the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Sex is an important part of human life. It is a source of pleasure and intimacy, and is integral to many people’s self-identity. This chapter examines the opportunities and challenges posed by the use of AI in how humans express and enact their sexualities. It does so by focusing on three main issues. First, it considers the idea of digisexuality, which according to McArthur and Twist (2017) is the label that should be applied to those ‘whose primary sexual identity comes (...)
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  16. The Law and Ethics of Virtual Sexual Assault.John Danaher - forthcoming - In Enter Author Name Without Selecting A. Profile: Woodrow Barfield & Enter Author Name Without Selecting A. Profile: Marc Blitz (eds.), The Law of Virtual and Augmented Reality. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Press.
    This chapter provides a general overview and introduction to the law and ethics of virtual sexual assault. It offers a definition of the phenomenon and argues that there are six interesting types. It then asks and answers three questions: (i) should we criminalise virtual sexual assault? (ii) can you be held responsible for virtual sexual assault? and (iii) are there issues with 'consent' to virtual sexual activity that might make it difficult to prosecute or punish virtual sexual assault?
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  17. The Philosophical Case for Robot Friendship.John Danaher - forthcoming - Journal of Posthuman Studies.
    Friendship is an important part of the good life. While many roboticists are eager to create friend-like robots, many philosophers and ethicists are concerned. They argue that robots cannot really be our friends. Robots can only fake the emotional and behavioural cues we associate with friendship. Consequently, we should resist the drive to create robot friends. In this article, I argue that the philosophical critics are wrong. Using the classic virtue-ideal of friendship, I argue that robots can plausibly be considered (...)
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  18. Building Better Sex Robots: Lessons From Feminist Pornography.John Danaher - forthcoming - In Yuefang Zhou & Martin Fischer (eds.), AI Love You- Developments on Human-Robot Intimate Relations. Dordrecht: Springer.
    How should we react to the development of sexbot technology? Taking their cue from anti-porn feminism, several academic critics lament the development of sexbot technology, arguing that it objectifies and subordinates women, is likely to promote misogynistic attitudes toward sex, and may need to be banned or restricted. In this chapter I argue for an alternative response. Taking my cue from the sex positive ‘feminist porn’ movement, I argue that the best response to the development of ‘bad’ sexbots is to (...)
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  19. Technological Change and Human Obsolescence: An Axiological Analysis.John Danaher - forthcoming - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology.
    Can human life have value in a world in which humans are rendered obsolete by technological advances? This article answers this question by developing an extended analysis of the axiological impact of human obsolescence. In doing so, it makes four main arguments. First, it argues that human obsolescence is a complex phenomenon that can take on at least four distinct forms. Second, it argues that one of these forms of obsolescence (‘actual-general’ obsolescence) is not a coherent concept and hence not (...)
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  20. In Defense of the Post-Work Future: Withdrawal and the Ludic Life.John Danaher - forthcoming - In Michael Cholbi & Michael Weber (eds.), The Future of Work, Technology, and Basic Income. New York: Routledge. pp. 99-116.
    A basic income might be able to correct for the income related losses of unemployment, but what about the meaning/purpose related losses? For better or worse, many people derive meaning and fulfillment from the jobs they do; if their jobs are taken away, they lose this source of meaning. If we are about the enter an era of rampant job loss as a result of advances in technology, is there a danger that it will also be an era of rampant (...)
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  21. The Ethics of Algorithmic Outsourcing in Everyday Life.John Danaher - forthcoming - In Karen Yeung & Martin Lodge (eds.), Algorithmic Regulation. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    We live in a world in which ‘smart’ algorithmic tools are regularly used to structure and control our choice environments. They do so by affecting the options with which we are presented and the choices that we are encouraged or able to make. Many of us make use of these tools in our daily lives, using them to solve personal problems and fulfill goals and ambitions. What consequences does this have for individual autonomy and how should our legal and regulatory (...)
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  22. The Algorithm Audit: Scoring the Algorithms That Score Us.Jovana Davidovic, Shea Brown & Ali Hasan - forthcoming - Big Data and Society.
    In recent years, the ethical impact of AI has been increasingly scrutinized, with public scandals emerging over biased outcomes, lack of transparency, and the misuse of data. This has led to a growing mistrust of AI and increased calls for ethical audits of algorithms. Current proposals for ethical assessment of algorithms are either too high-level to be put into practice without further guidance, or they focus on very specific notions of fairness or transparency that don’t consider multiple stakeholders or the (...)
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  23. The Self and the Ontic Trust: Toward Technologies of Care and Meaning.Tim Gorichanaz - forthcoming - Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 17 (3).
    Purpose – Contemporary technology has been implicated in the rise of perfectionism, a personality trait that is associated with depression, suicide and other ills. is paper explores how technology can be developed to promote an alternative to perfectionism, which is a self- constructionist ethic. Design/methodology/approach – is paper takes the form of a philosophical discussion. A conceptual framework is developed by connecting the literature on perfectionism and personal meaning with discussions in information ethics on the self, the ontic trust and (...)
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  24. A Matter of Trust: : Higher Education Institutions as Information Fiduciaries in an Age of Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics.Kyle M. L. Jones, Alan Rubel & Ellen LeClere - forthcoming - JASIST: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology.
    Higher education institutions are mining and analyzing student data to effect educational, political, and managerial outcomes. Done under the banner of “learning analytics,” this work can—and often does—surface sensitive data and information about, inter alia, a student’s demographics, academic performance, offline and online movements, physical fitness, mental wellbeing, and social network. With these data, institutions and third parties are able to describe student life, predict future behaviors, and intervene to address academic or other barriers to student success (however defined). Learning (...)
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  25. Disruptive Innovation and Moral Uncertainty.Philip J. Nickel - forthcoming - NanoEthics: Studies in New and Emerging Technologies.
    This paper develops a philosophical account of moral disruption. According to Robert Baker (2013), moral disruption is a process in which technological innovations undermine established moral norms without clearly leading to a new set of norms. Here I analyze this process in terms of moral uncertainty, formulating a philosophical account with two variants. On the Harm Account, such uncertainty is always harmful because it blocks our knowledge of our own and others’ moral obligations. On the Qualified Harm Account, there is (...)
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  26. Automated Influence and the Challenge of Cognitive Security.Sarah Rajtmajer & Daniel Susser - forthcoming - HoTSoS: ACM Symposium on Hot Topics in the Science of Security.
    Advances in AI are powering increasingly precise and widespread computational propaganda, posing serious threats to national security. The military and intelligence communities are starting to discuss ways to engage in this space, but the path forward is still unclear. These developments raise pressing ethical questions, about which existing ethics frameworks are silent. Understanding these challenges through the lens of “cognitive security,” we argue, offers a promising approach.
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  27. What We Informationally Owe Each Other.Alan Rubel, Clinton Castro & Adam Pham - forthcoming - In Algorithms & Autonomy: The Ethics of Automated Decision Systems. Cambridge University Press:
    NOTE: This material is forthcoming in revised form in Algorithms & Autonomy: The Ethics of Automated Decision Systems by Alan Rubel, Clinton Castro, and Adam Pham (Cambridge University Press). This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. It is not for re-distribution or re-use. Please cite to the final version when available. © Alan Rubel, Clinton Castro, and Adam Pham. ABSTRACT: One important criticism of algorithmic systems is that they lack transparency. Such systems can (...)
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  28. Friendship in the Shadow of Technology.Laurence Thomas - forthcoming - In Steven Scalet (ed.), Morality and Moral Controversies. Abebooks.
    This essay looks at the impact that technology is having upon friendship. For as we all know, it is nothing at all to see friends at a restaurant table all engaged in texting rather than talking to one another.
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  29. A Theodicy for Artificial Universes: Moral Considerations on Simulation Hypotheses.Stefano Gualeni - 2021 - International Journal of Technoethics 12 (1):21-31.
    ‘Simulation Hypotheses’ are imaginative scenarios that are typically employed in philosophy to speculate on how likely it is that we are currently living within a simulated universe as well as on our possibility for ever discerning whether we do in fact inhabit one. These philosophical questions in particular overshadowed other aspects and potential uses of simulation hypotheses, some of which are foregrounded in this article. More specifically, “A Theodicy for Artificial Universes” focuses on the moral implications of simulation hypotheses with (...)
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  30. Is Technology Value-Neutral?Boaz Miller - 2021 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 46 (1):53-80.
    According to the Value-Neutrality Thesis, technology is morally and politically neutral, neither good nor bad. A knife may be put to bad use to murder an innocent person or to good use to peel an apple for a starving person, but the knife itself is a mere instrument, not a proper subject for moral or political evaluation. While contemporary philosophers of technology widely reject the VNT, it remains unclear whether claims about values in technology are just a figure of speech (...)
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  31. Sexual Robots: The Social-Relational Approach and the Concept of Subjective Reference.Piercosma Bisconti & Susanna Piermattei - 2020 - Lecture Notes in Computer Science.
    In this paper we propose the notion of “subjective reference” as a conceptual tool that explains how and why human-robot sexual interactions could reframe users approach to human-human sexual interactions. First, we introduce the current debate about Sexual Robotics, situated in the wider discussion about Social Robots, stating the urgency of a regulative framework. We underline the importance of a social-relational approach, mostly concerned about Social Robots impact in human social structures. Then, we point out the absence of a precise (...)
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  32. Views on Privacy. A Survey.Siân Brooke & Carissa Véliz - 2020 - In Data, Privacy, and the Individual.
    The purpose of this survey was to gather individual’s attitudes and feelings towards privacy and the selling of data. A total (N) of 1,107 people responded to the survey. -/- Across continents, age, gender, and levels of education, people overwhelmingly think privacy is important. An impressive 82% of respondents deem privacy extremely or very important, and only 1% deem privacy unimportant. Similarly, 88% of participants either agree or strongly agree with the statement that ‘violations to the right to privacy are (...)
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  33. Empowerment or Engagement? Digital Health Technologies for Mental Healthcare.Christopher Burr & Jessica Morley - 2020 - In Christopher Burr & Silvia Milano (eds.), The 2019 Yearbook of the Digital Ethics Lab. pp. 67-88.
    We argue that while digital health technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence, smartphones, and virtual reality) present significant opportunities for improving the delivery of healthcare, key concepts that are used to evaluate and understand their impact can obscure significant ethical issues related to patient engagement and experience. Specifically, we focus on the concept of empowerment and ask whether it is adequate for addressing some significant ethical concerns that relate to digital health technologies for mental healthcare. We frame these concerns using five key (...)
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  34. Digital Psychiatry: Ethical Risks and Opportunities for Public Health and Well-Being.Christopher Burr, Jessica Morley, Mariarosaria Taddeo & Luciano Floridi - 2020 - IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society 1 (1):21-33.
    Common mental health disorders are rising globally, creating a strain on public healthcare systems. This has led to a renewed interest in the role that digital technologies may have for improving mental health outcomes. One result of this interest is the development and use of artificial intelligence for assessing, diagnosing, and treating mental health issues, which we refer to as ‘digital psychiatry’. This article focuses on the increasing use of digital psychiatry outside of clinical settings, in the following sectors: education, (...)
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  35. Epistemic Paternalism Online.Clinton Castro, Adam Pham & Alan Rubel - 2020 - In Guy Axtell & Amiel Bernal (eds.), Epistemic Paternalism. London: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 29-44.
    New media (highly interactive digital technology for creating, sharing, and consuming information) affords users a great deal of control over their informational diets. As a result, many users of new media unwittingly encapsulate themselves in epistemic bubbles (epistemic structures, such as highly personalized news feeds, that leave relevant sources of information out (Nguyen forthcoming)). Epistemically paternalistic alterations to new media technologies could be made to pop at least some epistemic bubbles. We examine one such alteration that Facebook has made in (...)
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  36. Robot Betrayal: A Guide to the Ethics of Robotic Deception.John Danaher - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (2):117-128.
    If a robot sends a deceptive signal to a human user, is this always and everywhere an unethical act, or might it sometimes be ethically desirable? Building upon previous work in robot ethics, this article tries to clarify and refine our understanding of the ethics of robotic deception. It does so by making three arguments. First, it argues that we need to distinguish between three main forms of robotic deception (external state deception; superficial state deception; and hidden state deception) in (...)
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  37. The Termination Risks of Simulation Science.Preston Greene - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (2):489-509.
    Historically, the hypothesis that our world is a computer simulation has struck many as just another improbable-but-possible “skeptical hypothesis” about the nature of reality. Recently, however, the simulation hypothesis has received significant attention from philosophers, physicists, and the popular press. This is due to the discovery of an epistemic dependency: If we believe that our civilization will one day run many simulations concerning its ancestry, then we should believe that we are probably in an ancestor simulation right now. This essay (...)
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  38. Artificial Beings Worthy of Moral Consideration in Virtual Environments: An Analysis of Ethical Viability.Stefano Gualeni - 2020 - Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 13 (1).
    This article explores whether and under which circumstances it is ethically viable to include artificial beings worthy of moral consideration in virtual environments. In particular, the article focuses on virtual environments such as those in digital games and training simulations – interactive and persistent digital artifacts designed to fulfill specific purposes, such as entertainment, education, training, or persuasion. The article introduces the criteria for moral consideration that serve as a framework for this analysis. Adopting this framework, the article tackles the (...)
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  39. Varieties of the Extended Self.Richard Heersmink - 2020 - Consciousness and Cognition 85:103001.
    This article provides an overview and analysis of recent work on the extended self, demonstrating that the boundaries of selves are fluid, shifting across biological, artifactual, and sociocultural structures. First, it distinguishes the notions of minimal self, person, and narrative self. Second, it surveys how philosophers, psychologists, and cognitive scientists argue that embodiment, cognition, emotion, consciousness, and moral character traits can be extended and what that implies for the boundaries of selves. It also reviews and responds to various criticisms and (...)
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  40. On the Net: Baran, Dreyfus, Merleau-Ponty, and Austin.Yusuke Kaneko - 2020 - The Basis : The Annual Bulletin of Research Center for Liberal Education, Musashino University 10:183-201.
    The Internet was born in 1960’s, then Internet ethics appeared as a branch of information ethics. It seems, however, our status on the Net is not yet scrutinized. We investigate this problem with the help of philosophers like Dreyfus, Merleau-Ponty, and Austin.
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  41. Presumptuous Aim Attribution, Conformity, and the Ethics of Artificial Social Cognition.Owen C. King - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (1):25-37.
    Imagine you are casually browsing an online bookstore, looking for an interesting novel. Suppose the store predicts you will want to buy a particular novel: the one most chosen by people of your same age, gender, location, and occupational status. The store recommends the book, it appeals to you, and so you choose it. Central to this scenario is an automated prediction of what you desire. This article raises moral concerns about such predictions. More generally, this article examines the ethics (...)
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  42. Emotions and Digital Well-Being. The Rationalistic Bias of Social Media Design in Online Deliberations.Lavinia Marin & Sabine Roeser - 2020 - In Christopher Burr & Luciano Floridi (eds.), Ethics of Digital Well-being: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Cham: Springer. pp. 139-150.
    In this chapter we argue that emotions are mediated in an incomplete way in online social media because of the heavy reliance on textual messages which fosters a rationalistic bias and an inclination towards less nuanced emotional expressions. This incompleteness can happen either by obscuring emotions, showing less than the original intensity, misinterpreting emotions, or eliciting emotions without feedback and context. Online interactions and deliberations tend to contribute rather than overcome stalemates and informational bubbles, partially due to prevalence of anti-social (...)
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  43. Did the NSA and GCHQ Diminish Our Privacy? What the Control Account Should Say.Leonhard Menges - 2020 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 7 (1):29-48.
    A standard account of privacy says that it is essentially a kind of control over personal information. Many privacy scholars have argued against this claim by relying on so-called threatened loss cases. In these cases, personal information about an agent is easily available to another person, but not accessed. Critics contend that control accounts have the implausible implication that the privacy of the relevant agent is diminished in threatened loss cases. Recently, threatened loss cases have become important because Edward Snowden’s (...)
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  44. Human Rights of Users of Humanlike Care Automata.Lantz Fleming Miller - 2020 - Human Rights Review 21 (2):181-205.
    Care is more than dispensing pills or cleaning beds. It is about responding to the entire patient. What is called “bedside manner” in medical personnel is a quality of treating the patient not as a mechanism but as a being—much like the caregiver—with desires, ideas, dreams, aspirations, and the gamut of mental and emotional character. As automata, answering an increasing functional need in care, are designed to enact care, the pressure is on their becoming more humanlike to carry out the (...)
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  45. Responsible Research for the Construction of Maximally Humanlike Automata: The Paradox of Unattainable Informed Consent.Lantz Fleming Miller - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (4):297-305.
    Since the Nuremberg Code and the first Declaration of Helsinki, globally there has been increasing adoption and adherence to procedures for ensuring that human subjects in research are as well informed as possible of the study’s reasons and risks and voluntarily consent to serving as subject. To do otherwise is essentially viewed as violation of the human research subject’s legal and moral rights. However, with the recent philosophical concerns about responsible robotics, the limits and ambiguities of research-subjects ethical codes become (...)
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  46. Disruptive Innovation and Moral Uncertainty.Philip J. Nickel - 2020 - NanoEthics 14 (3):259-269.
    This paper develops a philosophical account of moral disruption. According to Robert Baker, moral disruption is a process in which technological innovations undermine established moral norms without clearly leading to a new set of norms. Here I analyze this process in terms of moral uncertainty, formulating a philosophical account with two variants. On the harm account, such uncertainty is always harmful because it blocks our knowledge of our own and others’ moral obligations. On the qualified harm account, there is no (...)
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  47. Ethical Issues with Simulating the Bridge Problem in VR.Erick Jose Ramirez & Scott LaBarge - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (6):3313-3331.
    We aim to generate a dilemma for virtual reality-based research that we motivate through an extended case study of Judith Thomson’s (1985) Bridge variant of the trolley problem. Though the problem we generate applies more broadly than the Bridge problem, we believe it makes a good exemplar of the kind of case we believe is problematic. First, we argue that simulations of these thought experiments run into a practicality horn that makes it practically impossible to produce them. These problems revolve (...)
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  48. The Temptation of Data-Enabled Surveillance: Are Universities the Next Cautionary Tale?Alan Rubel - 2020 - Communications of the Acm 4 (63):22-24.
    There is increasing concern about “surveillance capitalism,” whereby for-profit companies generate value from data, while individuals are unable to resist (Zuboff 2019). Non-profits using data-enabled surveillance receive less attention. Higher education institutions (HEIs) have embraced data analytics, but the wide latitude that private, profit-oriented enterprises have to collect data is inappropriate. HEIs have a fiduciary relationship to students, not a narrowly transactional one (see Jones et al, forthcoming). They are responsible for facets of student life beyond education. In addition to (...)
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  49. Algorithms, Agency, and Respect for Persons.Alan Rubel, Clinton Castro & Adam Pham - 2020 - Social Theory and Practice 46 (3):547-572.
    Algorithmic systems and predictive analytics play an increasingly important role in various aspects of modern life. Scholarship on the moral ramifications of such systems is in its early stages, and much of it focuses on bias and harm. This paper argues that in understanding the moral salience of algorithmic systems it is essential to understand the relation between algorithms, autonomy, and agency. We draw on several recent cases in criminal sentencing and K–12 teacher evaluation to outline four key ways in (...)
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  50. Ethical Considerations for Digitally Targeted Public Health Interventions.Daniel Susser - 2020 - American Journal of Public Health 110 (S3).
    Public health scholars and public health officials increasingly worry about health-related misinformation online, and they are searching for ways to mitigate it. Some have suggested that the tools of digital influence are themselves a possible answer: we can use targeted, automated digital messaging to counter health-related misinformation and promote accurate information. In this commentary, I raise a number of ethical questions prompted by such proposals—and familiar from the ethics of influence and ethics of AI—highlighting hidden costs of targeted digital messaging (...)
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