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Christopher Burr
The Alan Turing Institute
  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. The Ethics of Digital Well-Being: A Thematic Review.Christopher Burr, Mariarosaria Taddeo & Luciano Floridi - 2019 - Science and Engineering Ethics:1-31.
    This article presents the first thematic review of the literature on the ethical issues concerning digital well-being. The term ‘digital well-being’ is used to refer to the impact of digital technologies on what it means to live a life that is good for a human being. The review explores the existing literature on the ethics of digital well-being, with the goal of mapping the current debate and identifying open questions for future research. The review identifies major issues related to several (...)
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  4. The Debate on the Ethics of AI in Health Care: A Reconstruction and Critical Review.Jessica Morley, Caio C. V. Machado, Christopher Burr, Josh Cowls, Indra Joshi, Mariarosaria Taddeo & Luciano Floridi - manuscript
    Healthcare systems across the globe are struggling with increasing costs and worsening outcomes. This presents those responsible for overseeing healthcare with a challenge. Increasingly, policymakers, politicians, clinical entrepreneurs and computer and data scientists argue that a key part of the solution will be ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) – particularly Machine Learning (ML). This argument stems not from the belief that all healthcare needs will soon be taken care of by “robot doctors.” Instead, it is an argument that rests on the classic (...)
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  5. 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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  6. Can Machines Read Our Minds?Christopher Burr & Nello Cristianini - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (3):461-494.
    We explore the question of whether machines can infer information about our psychological traits or mental states by observing samples of our behaviour gathered from our online activities. Ongoing technical advances across a range of research communities indicate that machines are now able to access this information, but the extent to which this is possible and the consequent implications have not been well explored. We begin by highlighting the urgency of asking this question, and then explore its conceptual underpinnings, in (...)
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  7.  37
    Bayesian Learning Models of Pain: A Call to Action.Abby Tabor & Christopher Burr - 2019 - Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 26:54-61.
    Learning is fundamentally about action, enabling the successful navigation of a changing and uncertain environment. The experience of pain is central to this process, indicating the need for a change in action so as to mitigate potential threat to bodily integrity. This review considers the application of Bayesian models of learning in pain that inherently accommodate uncertainty and action, which, we shall propose are essential in understanding learning in both acute and persistent cases of pain.
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  8.  29
    Building Machines That Learn and Think About Morality.Christopher Burr & Geoff Keeling - 2018 - In Proceedings of the Convention of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB 2018). Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour.
    Lake et al. propose three criteria which, they argue, will bring artificial intelligence (AI) systems closer to human cognitive abilities. In this paper, we explore the application of these criteria to a particular domain of human cognition: our capacity for moral reasoning. In doing so, we explore a set of considerations relevant to the development of AI moral decision-making. Our main focus is on the relation between dual-process accounts of moral reasoning and model-free/model-based forms of machine learning. We also discuss (...)
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  9.  61
    An Analysis of the Interaction Between Intelligent Software Agents and Human Users.Christopher Burr, Nello Cristianini & James Ladyman - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (4):735-774.
    Interactions between an intelligent software agent and a human user are ubiquitous in everyday situations such as access to information, entertainment, and purchases. In such interactions, the ISA mediates the user’s access to the content, or controls some other aspect of the user experience, and is not designed to be neutral about outcomes of user choices. Like human users, ISAs are driven by goals, make autonomous decisions, and can learn from experience. Using ideas from bounded rationality, we frame these interactions (...)
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  10.  46
    The Body as Laboratory: Prediction-Error Minimization, Embodiment, and Representation.Christopher Burr & Max Jones - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):586-600.
    In his paper, Jakob Hohwy outlines a theory of the brain as an organ for prediction-error minimization, which he claims has the potential to profoundly alter our understanding of mind and cognition. One manner in which our understanding of the mind is altered, according to PEM, stems from the neurocentric conception of the mind that falls out of the framework, which portrays the mind as “inferentially-secluded” from its environment. This in turn leads Hohwy to reject certain theses of embodied cognition. (...)
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  11.  31
    Embodied Decisions and the Predictive Brain.Christopher Burr - 2017 - Philosophy and Predictive Processing.
    A cognitivist account of decision-making views choice behaviour as a serial process of deliberation and commitment, which is separate from perception and action. By contrast, recent work in embodied decision-making has argued that this account is incompatible with emerging neurophysiological data. We argue that this account has significant overlap with an embodied account of predictive processing, and that both can offer mutual development for the other. However, more importantly, by demonstrating this close connection we uncover an alternative perspective on the (...)
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  12.  40
    Unifying the Mind: Cognitive Representations as Graphical Models. [REVIEW]Christopher Burr - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (5):789-791.
    Book review of Danks, D. (2014) Unifying the Mind: Cognitive Representations as Graphical Models.
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  13.  24
    Embodied Decisions and the Predictive Brain.Christopher Burr - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Bristol
    Decision-making has traditionally been modelled as a serial process, consisting of a number of distinct stages. The traditional account assumes that an agent first acquires the necessary perceptual evidence, by constructing a detailed inner repre- sentation of the environment, in order to deliberate over a set of possible options. Next, the agent considers her goals and beliefs, and subsequently commits to the best possible course of action. This process then repeats once the agent has learned from the consequences of her (...)
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