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Steven Umbrello
York University
  1. The Rise of Realism. [REVIEW]Steven Umbrello - 2017 - International Journal of Actor-Network Theory and Technological Innovation 9 (2):63-66.
    A new book by Manuel DeLanda and Graham Harman, The Rise of Realism, is reviewed. The Rise of Realism is an introductory text that aims to clarify the difficulties that surround the philosophical concepts of realism and materialism (as well as their antitheses). This primer intended to introduce students and interested scholars to the concepts and literature on realism and its place in the continental tradition of philosophy and related social theory. The book’s core methodology is to outline the various (...)
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  2.  37
    Evaluating Future Nanotechnology: The Net Societal Impacts of Atomically Precise Manufacturing.Steven Umbrello & Seth D. Baum - 2018 - Futures 100:63-73.
    Atomically precise manufacturing (APM) is the assembly of materials with atomic precision. APM does not currently exist, and may not be feasible, but if it is feasible, then the societal impacts could be dramatic. This paper assesses the net societal impacts of APM across the full range of important APM sectors: general material wealth, environmental issues, military affairs, surveillance, artificial intelligence, and space travel. Positive effects were found for material wealth, the environment, military affairs (specifically nuclear disarmament), and space travel. (...)
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  3.  59
    Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People. [REVIEW]Steven Umbrello - 2018 - Journal of Critical Realism 17 (1):84-86.
    A new book by Timothy Morton, Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People, is reviewed. Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People is a project into the applied political ethics that emerge between speculative realism and Marxism. This book is intended to build on the object-oriented ontology that Morton has espoused in previous volumes, however with a greater emphasis on normative politics. The book’s core methodology is to outline the various neologisms that Morton employs and incorporate those speculative realist terms into a retooling of (...)
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  4.  53
    A Value-Sensitive Design Approach to Intelligent Agents.Steven Umbrello & Angelo Frank De Bellis - 2018 - In Roman Yampolskiy (ed.), Artificial Intelligence Safety and Security. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. pp. 395-410.
    This chapter proposed a novel design methodology called Value-Sensitive Design and its potential application to the field of artificial intelligence research and design. It discusses the imperatives in adopting a design philosophy that embeds values into the design of artificial agents at the early stages of AI development. Because of the high risk stakes in the unmitigated design of artificial agents, this chapter proposes that even though VSD may turn out to be a less-than-optimal design methodology, it currently provides a (...)
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  5.  31
    The Moral Psychology of Value Sensitive Design: The Methodological Issues of Moral Intuitions for Responsible Innovation.Steven Umbrello - 2018 - Journal of Responsible Innovation 5 (2):186-200.
    This paper argues that although moral intuitions are insufficient for making judgments on new technological innovations, they maintain great utility for informing responsible innovation. To do this, this paper employs the Value Sensitive Design (VSD) methodology as an illustrative example of how stakeholder values can be better distilled to inform responsible innovation. Further, it is argued that moral intuitions are necessary for determining stakeholder values required for the design of responsible technologies. This argument is supported by the claim that the (...)
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  6.  6
    Designing in Ethics. [REVIEW]Steven Umbrello - forthcoming - Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation 36 (1).
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  7.  9
    Presentism and Relativity.Steven Umbrello - 2015 - The Oxford Philosopher.
    In this short paper I will be explicating and evaluating the arguments presented by Keller and Nelson in their paper, Presentists Should Believe in Time-Travel. I will show that their presuppositions, which are essential to their arguments, have the potential to devastate their position. We will see that one of these presuppositions comes into conflict with the General Theory of Relativity, and I will demonstrate that this endangers both their own agenda and presentism as a whole.
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  8.  2
    Atomically Precise Manufacturing and Responsible Innovation: A Value Sensitive Design Approach to Explorative Nanophilosophy.Steven Umbrello - manuscript
    Although continued investments in nanotechnology are made, atomically precise manufacturing (APM) to date is still regarded as speculative technology. APM, also known as molecular manufacturing, is a token example of a converging technology, has great potential to impact and be affected by other emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and ICT. The development of APM thus can have drastic global impacts depending on how it is designed and used. This paper argues that the ethical issues that arise from APM (...)
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  9.  2
    Explorative Nanophilosophy as Tecnoscienza: An Italian Perspective on the Role of Speculation in Nanoindustry.Steven Umbrello - manuscript
    There are two primary camps in which nanotechnology today can be categorized normal nanotechnology and speculative nanotechnology. The birth of nanotechnology proper was conceived through discourses of speculative nanotechnology. However, current nanotech-nology research has detracted from its speculative promises in favour of more attainable material products. Nonetheless, normal nanotechnology has leveraged the popular support and consequential funding it needs to conduct research and development (R&D) as a result of popular conceptions of speculative nanotechnology and its promises. Similarly, the scholarly literature (...)
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  10.  2
    Silence of the Idols: Appropriating the Myth of Sisyphus for Posthumanist Discourses.Steven Umbrello - manuscript
    Both current and past analyses and critiques of transhumanist and posthumanist theories have had a propensity to cite the Greek myth of Prometheus as a paradigmatic figure. Although stark differences exist amongst the token forms of posthumanist theories and transhumanism, both theoretical domains claim Promethean theory as their own. By first analyzing the appropriation of the myth in both posthumanism and transhumanism I show how the myth fails to be foundational to both camps simultaneously. I then introduce the Camusian Myth (...)
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