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Ambiguous Technologies: Philosophical Issues,
Practical Solutions, Human Nature


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Participants - Organisation - Selected Papers

The list of selected papers that will structure CEPE 2013 is (by submission number):

Authors: Elizabeth Buchanan1 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Kellen Dins2, Scott Dexter3, Kenneth Fleischmann4 & Keith W. Miller5

Affiliations: University of Wisconsin-Stout1,2, University of New York3, University of Texas4, University of Illinois5, United States1,2,3,4,5

Abstract:

How can better ethics education in the computer science and information technology (CS/IT) professions promote better science broadly conceived? How do computer professionals, particularly those working across a range of the disciplines and across geographic borders, learn ethics in and for their professions? What effect does the globalization of computing have on ethics? How might scientists and engineers work more effectively and ethically across cultures in increasingly interconnected, global scientific communities? These and similar questions indicate an urgent and important need for a current exploration of computing ethics education, one that compares and contrasts different types of institutions and explores how and what ethics and values are taught in graduate computing programs and evaluates that data in relation to industry expectations and standards.

Author: Sabine Thüermel (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Technische Universität München, Germany

Abstract:

In June 2012 “The Economist” suggested that methods of experimental ethics might be helpful to generate “robo-ethical” behaviour morally acceptable to most people (Economist Print Edition 2012, p. 13). This is more than most experimental ethicists intend. Their main goal is to explore humans’ intuitions (Knobe/Nichols, 2008). Such endeavour would be totally symmetric to attempts to improve human behaviour based on computer experiments. The Leibniz Center for Law at the University of Amsterdam is looking- so far in vain- for a specific Ph.D. candidate: he or she should be capable of developing new policies in tax evasion scenarios. They should be based on agent-based models (Leibnizcenter 2011), in which a “social computing” approach may suggest ways how to change it.

Author: Mark Coeckelbergh (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Twente, Netherlands

Abstract:

This paper calls attention to ethical issues raised by financial technologies and contributes a specific argument about moral responsibility. It argues that in electronic trading the exercise of moral responsibility in finance is difficult in so far as two traditional Aristotelian conditions are not met: due to the particular way electronic technologies mediate financial practices, traders lack sufficient moral knowledge and sufficient control over their actions. This argument about epistemic distance and control distance is supported by studies of financial practices in social studies of finance and by connecting the case of high frequency trading to discussions about autonomous artificial agents and artificial intelligence in computer ethics and philosophy of technology. It is concluded that we need more normative philosophical work in this area.

Author: Massimo Durante (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Turin, Italy

Abstract:

The theme for the conference CEPE 2013 is a crucial, philosophical issue: i.e. the issue of ambiguity. The amphibological dimension of technology, which has a significant tradition in the legal, political and ethical meditation about technology, raises a key question in our societies: who or what governs? Is it technology that governs us or it is us, human beings, that govern technology? Our paper will be divided in three parts: i) try to analyze how the idea of governance is conditioned by this amphibological dimension and can be bettered by a deeper comprehension of the idea of regulation; ii) deal more closely with the relation between governance/democracy; iii) explore thus the idea that democracy cannot be intended only as a form of government.

Authors: Marty J. Wolf1 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Keith W. Miller2 & Frances S. Grodzinsky3

Affiliations: Bemidji State University1, University of Illinois2, Sacred Heart University3, United States1,2,,3

Abstract:

In “The Machine Question”, David Gunkel (2012) reviews the philosophical literature on “who or what is deserving of ethical consideration” with a particular eye toward articulating what questions are being asked and what questions are absent from the conversation. In particular, he identifies two themes in moral philosophy: focusing on the moral agent and focusing on the moral patient. In this paper, we apply abstraction to create a similar hierarchy for morality: a superclass Morality*, and various types of machine morality and human morality as subclasses. Our goal is to identify features of morality that will work as an abstraction for both machines and humans. To justify our approach, we note that trust (on-going relationships) and morality (evaluation of an action) share important features/differences.

Author: Gordon Hull (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of North Carolina, United States

Abstract:

The reigning model of privacy in ICT settings is “notice and consent” (N&C): websites, SNS, and so forth, present consumers with a privacy policy, which the user then either accepts as a condition for access to the site, or rejects after deciding that the privacy cost outweighs the benefits of access. Privacy is understood economically and considering the normative justification of N&C implies the adoption of a theory of contract. The failures of N&C derive from the failures of this image to capture what actually happens when consumers “click here to accept.” I thus offer a critique of N&C based on critiques of the theory of contract undergirding it, and offer a partial solution based on statutory remedies to other normatively problematic contract situations.

Author: Elin Palm (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Linköping University, Sweden

Abstract:

This paper will critically discuss prevailing EU migration management strategies and in particular the impact of surveillance-based border control on the human right specified in UN Convention Article 14. This right is circumvented by several of EU´s control mechanisms. Not only are EU land- and maritime borders continuously patrolled and monitored. FRONTEX conducts patrols in third country waters as well (Carretero-Fernandez, 2009). Once vessels carrying migrants are detected, these are typically diverted by FRONTEX agents to their (assumed) country of origin. In effect, migrants on board are escorted back and deprived of the individualized asylum procedure to which they are entitled (Hernandes-Carretero, 2009). Denying asylum seekers access to an asylum process may constitute a breach of the non-refoulement principle (Hernandez-Carretero, 2009).

Author: Dennis M. Weiss (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: York College of Pennsylvania, United States

Abstract:

What happens when our object world starts talking back to us and engaging us emotionally and relationally? How ought we to respond to the growing recognition that our social lives are increasingly mediated by technical artefacts and that the boundary between user and artefact, human and thing, is disappearing? Are we being seduced by our machines? We human beings are increasingly living our lives amidst a virtual tsunami of relational artefacts and sociable robots: Furbies, Tamagotchis, and robots (e.g., Cog, Kismet, Paro- a Japanese therapeutic robotic seal). I propose using relational artefacts as a prism to critically examine current scholarship on human-technology relations and efforts to rethink the subject-object divide and the manner in which our human, or post-human, lives are increasingly mediated by technology.

Author: Andrew A. Adams (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Meiji University, Japan

Abstract:

The beginnings of modern computer security questions then emerged, such as the requirement to restrict access to one’s computer account with a password, objected to by Richard Stallman. Stallman’s carriage return password philosophy was still based on question of ownership of information, ownership of the machine, rights to access information (delete or change information). These concepts still underlie major questions in computer ethics today. In this paper, though the focus returns to the question of who owns the machine, and who decides the policies surrounding access to the machine and in particular access to the information on the machine and control over the software running on the machine (indivisible questions since anyone who has control over the software has access to information).

Author: Makoto Nakada (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Tsukuba, Japan

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to examine how Japanese people and “Western” people understand or misunderstand the problems arising from the newly development of robots, AI and other technological products in the information era from ethical and critical viewpoints, focusing on the following points: (i) the scarcity of ethical/critical discussions on robots/artificial intelligent moral agents in Japan; (ii) recent trends of ethical/critical discussions on robots/artificial intelligent (or moral) agents in “Western” cultures; (iii) how and to what extent people in Japan and “Western” countries are aware of the differences regarding the theoretical backgrounds of robots/artificial intelligent agents which might determine the meanings of “autonomy”; (iv) potential directions of ethical/critical discussions on robots/artificial intelligent as moral agents in the future (Japan and “Western”).

Author: Linda Strikwerda (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Twente, Netherlands

Abstract:

In this paper I aim to answer the abovementioned question whether or not a virtual rape constitutes a legal and/or moral wrong and, consequently, a crime. I will take an approach that differs from the approach that other authors have taken so far. Contrary to other authors, I will not only pay attention to what is possible now in terms of virtual rape, but also to what might be possible in the near future. And I will provide a broader perspective than other authors have done (discussing virtual rape in light of three different legal philosophical theories of rape). Concluding, a virtual rape in a future virtual reality environment involving a haptic device or robotics will be able to constitute rape?


Author:
David S. Horner (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Brighton, United Kingdom

Abstract:

A feature of new computing technologies is their constant ability to confound/surprise. Things rarely turn out as we hoped or expected. This is the sense in which I wish to interpret the phrase “ambiguous technology”. This is the theme I intend to explore; the ways in which our technologies outrun our capacities to predict or forecast their development and their social and ethical impacts. The thrust of the argument will be that this is not a failure of forecasting technique, of ideological bias, or of hubris (although all of these things may play their part); it is just intrinsic to the predictive enterprise especially where the hinge is that of novelty/innovation (Horner 2004). My argument is that the central human problem is one of ignorance.


Authors:
Jeff Buechner1, Judith Simon2 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) & Herman T. Tavani3

Affiliations: Rutgers University1, University of Viena/Karlsruhe Institute of Technology2, Rivier University3, United States1,3 & Austria2

Abstract:

In much of the literature on trust (especially on e-trust) there is a glaring lacuna- the nature of the relationship between trust/trustworthiness. One reason for this apparent chasm is due to the logic of definitions: one component of an adequate definition of trust cannot be trustworthiness, for that would render the definition circular, unless either: (i) there is a definition of trustworthiness that does not employ trust, or (ii) circular definitions are allowed. A definition of trustworthiness requires an antecedent definition of trust, and this creates an interesting tension. It is our purpose in this paper to explore what those features must be, so we have to look carefully at some key connections between (a) the concept of trust and (b) an agent’s being trustworthy.

Authors: Kutoma Wakunuma1 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Bernd C. Stahl2 & Sara Wilford3

Affiliations: De Montfort University1,2,3, United Kingdom1,2,3

Abstract:

This paper will present findings from a year long research study that investigated emerging future technologies and their associated emerging ethical issues in the field of information systems (IS). The results presented in this paper are particularly informed by IS professionals and practitioners who gave their experiences, perceptions and opinions on technologies they perceive to be emerging and are therefore likely to play a vital role in the future. In addition, the professionals also gave insight into what they perceive to be related emerging ethical issues of the future technologies they identified. In light of this, the paper will additionally discuss solutions to ethical concerns presented within the context of responsible innovation and development.

Author: Deborah G. Johnson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Virginia, United States

Abstract:

The paper begins with the broad question of responsibility that arises because artificial agents are predicted to not just be autonomous but to learn as they operate. Even if their goals remain as set by humans or their function within a larger system remains the same, when machines learn and change their internal operations, there is the possibility that humans will not be able to understand how they work, i.e., how the machine arrives at its decision and why it behaves as it does. This leads to what Matthias (2004) refers to as the “responsibility gap”. If humans cannot understand what goes on in an artificial agent, let alone foresee what it will do, then humans cannot be responsible for the behaviour of the artificial agent?

Author: Paul B. de Laat (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Groningen, Netherlands

Abstract:

In this article I intend to show that OCCs, in particular the more dynamic ones, faced with the issue of trusting (or not) their contributors, are evolving to a new type of regime. I am not concerned with empirical distributions among the various OCCs, but explore a new logic that seems to be emerging. In particular the options of monitoring/recording each contribution and move its contributors to a community and swiftly taking adequate actions. The “new model” applies to a bundle of lower-level roles and permissions: those are granted ex ante to all on the basis of full trust, and monitoring mechanisms for quality control. Inference of trustworthiness from reputation scores might be used in the near future for optimising quality control, however enough?

Authors: Jani Koskinen1, Olli I. Heimmo2 & Kai K. Kimppa3 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliations: University of Turku1,2,3, Finland1,2,3

Abstract:

Nowadays, patients are seen to be in a more active role in healthcare and becoming more interested about their own health. Need for information for different actors and parties in healthcare systems is evident and a significant phenomenon. Andre De Vries (1980) stated that the responsibility of one’s health lies within the individual. Nevertheless, he presents three issues to be fulfilled: (i) there must be patient autonomy if responsibility is expected to be given to the person; (ii) individuals must have a right for care and treatment, before they can be held responsible; (iii) they must have information in order to possess that responsibility; without understanding there cannot be responsibility. In this paper Rawls is used for argumentation of justification for ownership of patient information.

Authors: Byron Anderson1 & Elizabeth Buchanan2 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliations: University of Wisconsin-Stout1,2, United States1,2

Abstract:

This paper explores the progression of an ICT ethics course from concept to its inception at an American-based Polytechnic institution. The Authors present the paper through a case-based approach, which is intended to contribute to the diverse literature on ICTs and ethics, in an expansive global environment with increasingly complex ethical demands. This paper is related to other CEPE 2013 proposals based on a multi-site institutional study of ICT/CS ethics education. The focus of this particular paper will be which topics are essential components of an ICT ethics course for undergraduate students and more specifically, how can a course fulfil general education requirements? How “philosophical” should a course be? How do we achieve a balance between disciplinary specific ethics and norms and a “generalist” approach?

Authors: Joana C. R. Matias1 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) & Gonçalo J. M. Costa2

Affiliations: Polytechnic Institute of Santarém1, Autónoma University of Lisbon/De Montfort University2, Portugal1,2 & United Kingdom2

Abstract:

The underlying motivation for this contribution is to comprehend through CEPE 2013 comments and queries if it will be a worthwhile future PhD research project (first Author). NBIC frame a broad analytical spectrum, although the paper approaches a particular research field within consciousnesses technologies: molecular neuropharmacology. Through the example of schizophrenia (mental illness that does not permit understand what is real or not), the Authors denote novel ethical dilemmas to psychologists due to molecular neuropharmaceuticals use. The reason is simple, however profound: the sum of each research field does not equal the whole NBIC (ethical challenges) (Costa & Silva, 2009). At last, the Rorschach test will interact as a metaphor for understanding the perception/interpretation of psychologists regarding these ethical quandaries.

Authors: Tatiana N. Kikot1 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Silvia C. P. B. Fernandes2, Rui M. C. S. Magalhães3 & Gonçalo J. M. Costa4

Affiliations: University of Algarve1,2,3, Autónoma University of Lisbon/De Montfort University4, Portugal1,2,3 & United Kingdom4

Abstract:

Game-based learning environments in education are a valuable asset, as well as their potential benefits are unquestionable (Guillén-Nieto & Aleson-Carbonell, 2012). Yet, recent studies concerning academic achievement have reported contradictory or ambiguous findings. It is also interesting that empirical studies devoted to Management courses are not abundant and focus on: single unit courses (e.g., Edelheim & Ueda, 2007), units with low levels of interdisciplinarity (e.g., Pasin & Giroux, 2011), non-longitudinal studies (e.g., Sørensen, 2011) or games usability (e.g., Blažič et al., 2012). Therefore, the leading}
Author produced the following research query: can GBL (Cesim Global Challenge) be a useful and productive tool to support Management students for effective learning towards complex contexts while enhances engagement? A case study approach will be used (University of Algarve).

Authors: Celestino A. Morgado1 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) & Gonçalo J. M. Costa2

Affiliations: Leiria Polytechnic Institute1, Autónoma University of Lisbon/De Montfort University2, Portugal1,2 & United Kingdom2

Abstract:

This paper is a follow-up of a current empirical project that aims to investigate WikiLeaks role as a potential genuine e-activist or a proselytizer. For that, the}
Authors will: update their initial empirical results, which were initially presented in Media, Ethics and Culture, 2011- Gniezno; and, compare WikiLeaks “Cable Gate” documents analysis with aim 1. The underlying reasons that corroborate such analysis are: (i) WikiLeaks “unstructured” archive (2013a) analysis is completed; (ii) “Cable Gate” document series promoted WikiLeaks own first time qualitative content analysis (WikiLeaks, 2013b). For that, a qualitative content analysis will be explored since it has a long tradition as method for text analysis, despite its non-homogenous understanding.

Authors: Fernando J. Silva1 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) & Gonçalo J. M. Costa2

Affiliations: Autónoma University of Lisbon1,2, De Montfort University2, Portugal1,2 & United Kingdom2

Abstract:

Human dignity is a multidimensional concept with strong ethical, legal or religious implications. Traditional approaches concerning human dignity have some merit, although insufficient when debating its bond with prosthetic technologies. The}
Authors debate if these technologies enhance or instrumentalise human dignity through the example of Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius journey into the “traditional” Olympic Games enabled extensive media coverage, typically emphasising his glorious effort or the wonders of technology (his legs). However, some keen queries are vital: (i) why the choice of Oscar Pistorius? Since exist an array of Paralympic athletes with similar or distinct physical disabilities, but acknowledging tremendous efforts; (ii) why the media apparatus and who was promoting it?; (iii) which ethical consequences arise? (iv) how world philosophies may provide a societal response to enhancement?

Authors: Nuno S. A. Silva1 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Tiago F. R. Fonseca2 & Gonçalo J. M. Costa3

Affiliations: De Montfort University1,3, Lusíada University of Lisbon2, Autónoma University of Lisbon3, United Kingdom1,3 & Portugal2,3

Abstract:

Today´s biomedical implants acknowledge a convergence between various research fields, i.e., NBIC (Roco & Bainbridge, 2003). Despite its conceptual youth this research field entails a wide array of technologies, as for instance: drug delivery, robotic surgery, memory and body enhancement, medical imaging, etc. However, this contribution sheds some light over drones with communicational (wireless) capabilities designed and engineered to be compatible with the human body (light, flexible and with physiological density) for continuous medical monitoring (Budinger, 2003). These devices undoubtedly change the shift of medicine, i.e., the focus is detection and prevention instead of treatment due to their real time monitoring capabilities. Although, this monitoring process involves a major trade-off: to which extent patients’ medical information is accurate and secure? And, what ethical challenges arise?

Author: Ivana Greguric (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Zagreb Business School, Croatia

Abstract:

In this paper we provide a description of possible future cyborgisation and give examples of different levels of human body cyborgisation. Modern man is gradually disappearing as a natural being and increasingly turning into an artificial creature “cyborg” that leads into the question, what will ultimately remain human in a human body? In which direction can we expect further development of cyborgisation and where are boundaries that will strictly divide man from a cyborg in the near future? In order to protect man from the omnipotence of technology and its unethical application is necessary to establish cyborgoethics that would determine the implementation of an artificial boundary in the natural body.

Author: Karsten Weber (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation:Brandenburg University for Technology, Germany

Abstract:

In his seminal paper “What is it like to be a bat?” Thomas Nagel argues in favour of the irreducibility of the first-person perspective. His main argument is that being a bat, a spider, or a human being implies that those particular living beings experience something that cannot be described merely by using physical terms. Although, a machine isn’t alive and therefore it would be unreasonable to say that we encounter a fundamentally alien form of life if we encounter a machine. If a person encounters a machine the truth of that sentence depends on her or his knowledge concerning it. My claim is that if the machine appears to be a living being is due a belief that it has emotions, beliefs, intentions and desires.

Author: Kevin N. J. Macnish (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Abstract:

The debate surrounding drones is still young and ill-formed. In this paper I add to that debate by introducing the “Parmenides Fallacy” described by Philip Bobbitt to demonstrate both the value and limitations of drones in battle (Bobbitt 2009). The pertinent question then becomes not how do drones affect each side of a military conflict, but rather how do drones compare with humans in affecting each side of a military conflict. The conclusion will be that in some areas drones are a significant improvement for those on both sides of the conflict, but that in others there are important losses involved in removing or reducing direct human engagement from the battlefield is discussable, namely acknowledging a domestic and non-domestic analysis for their usage.

Author: Kenneth E. Himma (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Washington, United States

Abstract:

The issue of whether the state is morally justified in affording content-creators a legal right to exclude others from the content of their creations is a sharply contested issue in information ethics, law, legal theory, philosophy, and policy. Once taken for granted as legitimate, intellectual property rights have come under fire during the last fifty years as evolving digital information technologies have severed the link between expression of ideas and such traditional material-based media as books and magazines. These advances in digital technology have called attention to unique features of intellectual content thought to problematise the legitimacy of legal intellectual property protections. This article attempts to provide the beginnings of a viable moral justification for recognizing and providing legal protection of intellectual property.

Author: Hiroshi Koga (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Kansai University, Japan

Abstract:

In this paper, the Author considers the impact of the new concept of privacy (the right to be forgotten) on the characteristics of the online community including social media. In particular, it is argued that the extension of the concept of privacy would be becoming a phenomenon referred to as “the polarization of the online community”. Here, “polarization” means the inclination that is radicalized in the attitudes (an anonymity intention, relationship serious consideration with the real world, etc.) of a community from the beginning. Therefore, the paper structure will be: (i) expand the concept of privacy; (ii) show a typology of online communities; (ii) consider the impact of extension of concept of privacy on online communities.

Author: Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Uppsala University, Sweden

Abstract:

The ways of handling problems of IT systems usability and problems of ethics are similar to each other. Working with usability leads most often to the need of discussing problems of ethics, and today’s issues of ethics are mostly related to IT. The nature of IT and ethics seems to be very close to each other. Ready-made answers cannot be found and any solution proposed is easily contested. IT design and use have a strong connection to values. With classical and modern philosophy as a foundation, and based on psychological research on ethical decision making, it is suggested to focus on the way to take care of issues rather than on normative aspects or on the construction and application of usability standards and guidelines.

Author: Philip A. Brey (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Twente, Netherlands

Abstract:

Recently, a number of Authors in computer and information ethics and in the ethics of technology at large have argued that some or all IT artefacts or technological artefacts in general, can qualify as moral agents. The notion of a moral agent has traditionally been reserved for human beings, and is used to refer to beings which can be held morally responsible for their actions. Therefore, in this paper I will evaluate various positions in favour of such view, as well as develop an alternative view (not ascribe moral agency to artefacts, but attribute important moral roles). This approach has all the benefits of approaches that ascribe moral agency to artefacts, while maintaining a distinction between the moral agency of humans and nonhuman entities.

Author: Shannon Vallor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Santa Clara University, United States

Abstract:

The 21st century faces its own challenge with respect to technological deskilling; even as the revolutions of the prior century continue to play out, new advances in biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, neurotechnology, and artificial intelligence are generating new pressures. In this paper I identify several potential hazards of moral deskilling posed by today’s emerging technologies. Examples include the risk that military drones and other autonomous weapons systems may engender moral deskilling of soldiers in the conduct of war; that social media may engender moral deskilling in practices of negotiating personal and professional conflict; and that social robotics may engender moral deskilling in practices of human caregiving. The argument will be built on prior analyses of technological disruption of such practices, as well as their moral virtues.

Author: Adam Henschke (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Australia

Abstract:

Philosophy as a practical discipline is important, but often this importance requires explanation: not only to non-philosophers, but perhaps also to those within the discipline. The contention of this paper is that philosophy, in this case philosophy of information, is practically important. That is, philosophy of information has important practical applications. To argue this point, the paper looks at a relatively recent controversy over the publication of genetic research and its association with human behaviour. It then delves into philosophy of information to propose that information is multirealisable (multiple arguments or perspectives). Once this multirealisability of information has been recognised through the work of Luciano Floridi, we can explain concept creep and how some controversies within scientific research arise (e.g., genetic information).

Authors: Hui Jin1 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) & Edward H. Spence2

Affiliations: Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics1,2, Australia1,2

Abstract:

The excessive reliance on the Internet can potentially result on dependence and in some cases addiction that can potentially have a negative impact on wellbeing. In this paper we shall collectively refer to the negative impacts of the Internet on wellbeing, as Internet Stress. Although wellbeing (or happiness, self-fulfilment, or the ancient Greek philosophical notion of eudaimonia) can have different meanings to different people, it may not be controversial to say that wellbeing is typically a key pursuit of human beings. This paper explores the phenomenon of Internet Stress and its possible amelioration if not solution, from two philosophical perspectives: from the East, a Daoist perspective and from the West, a Hellenistic perspective, and one that encompasses both Stoic and Epicurean philosophy.

Author: Edward H. Spence (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Australia

Abstract:

To borrow a term from Luciano Floridi, we now live in the infosphere. At last count (December 2010) approximately 2 billion people worldwide (one third of the world’s population) use the internet. The primary aim of this paper is to present a conceptual framework that provides a new way of examining and evaluating the ongoing transformations wrought by the digitalisation of information in its multiple uses and communications. Specifically, this conceptual framework will allow examining and evaluating the ethics of the ongoing convergence of old and new media at the fundamental level of the ethics of information. I will show how this model can be operationalised to evaluate the impact of this convergence and its implications for the social well-being (the good life) of society.

Author: Tobias Matzner (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation:University of Tübingen, Germany

Abstract:

During the last years, two developments have been widely recognized as requiring new concepts of privacy and new mechanisms to protect it: ubiquitous computing and the efficient mining of ever growing data (“big data”). While improved concepts of privacy have been suggested, I argue that those do not suffice. In the context of ubiquitous computing and big data, people acting in full conformity to those privacy norms still can infringe the privacy of others. On the other hand, both big data and ubiquitous computing have the potential to greatly benefit various areas like environmental protection, healthcare, etc. To overcome this ambiguity, I argue that to benefit from these developments while protecting privacy, we have to move from privacy (as individual concern) and look into socio-political solutions.

Author: Migle Laukyte (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: European University Institute, Italy

Abstract:

In this paper I will not address the question whether we should ascribe rights to robots, but will rather assume that we humans are agreed on recognizing such rights: now the question is which rights should we recognize? And this question in turn invites a number of other questions, as for instance: who should decide what rights robots ought to have? What should be the content of these rights? This paper will try to address some of these questions but will mainly focus on one of them, that is, the content of the rights we should recognize for robots once they become part of our lives and will no longer be seen as the tools only , i.e., as equal interlocutors.

Authors: Olli I. Heimmo1, Jani Koskinen2 & Kai K. Kimppa3 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliations: University of Turku1,2,3, Finland1,2,3

Abstract:

In this paper we aim to show that defining a responsible agent and the consequences to the aforementioned agent when acquiring critical eGovernment systems is essential. This is to prevent loss of human life, to enhance well-being, to secure a democratic process and civil rights and to save resources. A critical eGovernment system is a system where something invaluable can easily be compromised. These kinds of systems include eHealth, eDemocracy, police databases and some information security systems e.g. physical access right control. However, without the culpability of governmental officials, the work quality can (and will?) suffer with the laissez faire attitude? While the overall quality of the governmental IT can be nominated as poor and due to the aforementioned risks, is possible to make actors responsible?

Author: Nicole Dewandre (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation:European Commission, Belgium

Abstract:

The proliferation of truisms, wrong alternatives, and fears when it comes to thinking and speaking about politics and the public space give the uncomfortable feeling that policy making and meaning have somewhat parted company. The digital transition is an opportunity to rejuvenate the public space, since re-endorses the fact that human action is characterized by its irreversibility/unpredictability, and not necessarily the worse. Therefore, I intend to: (i) address and criticize the influence of the omniscience/omnipotence prejudice over policy-making; (ii) present how the notions of plurality and natality allow overcoming it; (iii) re-examine the distinction between private/public spheres under these concepts; (iv) propose a shift of policy-making from a risk-governance to a literacy-companion approach; (v) propose a definition of practical wisdom in a hyperconnected era.

Author: Katleen Gabriels (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Vrije University of Brussels, Belgium

Abstract:

In this paper, we attempt to conjoin a strong grounding in philosophy with an empirical study on the grounds and meanings of moral values and practices in three-dimensional social virtual worlds. To this aim, we conduct a qualitative study on the un/acceptability of morally charged scenarios in ‘Second Life’ (SL). Regarding converging arguments, we find consensus on the unacceptability of six scenarios. Research participants believe these scenarios are equally problematic in virtuality and in actuality and they subsequently ground their argumentation in actual principles. In our discussion, we focus on what we define as “grounding in technology” versus “grounding in actual principles”- Verbeek (2011) theory on mediated morality in order to question if and to what extent technology might possess a moral dimension in itself.

Author: Dylan E. Wittkower (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Old Dominion University, United States

Abstract:

The public stature of philosophy in the United States has been in unnecessary decline. When journalists seek a source to comment on the meaning of scientific and technological development, they turn to scientists and technologists. When writers and editors seek commentators on issues of ethics and public values, they infrequently turn to philosophers, but seek out instead psychologists, etc. Who is to bring these changes about, if not we whose work shows the need for these changes? And should we not expect that a responsible scholar who finds herself drawing these conclusions, and equipped with the arguments and analysis to make a case for these changes, ought to attempt to follow through by taking action in accord with these conclusions and making use of these arguments?

Author: Susana Nascimento1 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) & Alexandre Pólvora2

Affiliation: University Institute of Lisbon1, University Paris I- Pantheon-Sorbonne2, Portugal1 & France2

Abstract:

Through transdisciplinary trends it becomes clear that dealing with sustainable development requires operating both horizontally, to involve and mix different areas of expertise, and vertically, to elicit feedback from stakeholders of civil society and incorporate it in scientific and technological research (Klein 2004). Although, social dimensions are yet the most ignored in sustainable development, even by transdisciplinary attempts to shape it in practical or conceptual terms (Vifell and Soneryd 2012). This requires an engagement not only from social sciences, but also from all other possible disciplines at play, to fully conciliate social, cultural and political factors with technical and environmental conditions (in design, production, and distribution). One of the major contributions from social sciences will be to assure the creation of technologies that respect glocality.

Author: Syed M. Ali (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: The Open University, United Kingdom

Abstract:

In recent years, computing and ICT have increasingly been subjected to interrogation from a range of critical perspectives. Enquiries have generally been informed by a commitment to one of three approaches- critical race theory, Marxist political-economy or, more recently, postcolonial theory. While each of these approaches has some merit in that it contributes toward the development of a “critical computing”, all three remain problematic when considered from the “decolonial computing” perspective regarding artificial intelligence (IA). From a decolonial computing perspective, the “neo-cybernetic turn” toward embodiment and situatedness constitutes a movement from an abstract Cartesian (that is, disembodied) computing of the Turing variety to an abstract post-Cartesian (that is, embodied) computing which pre-emptively forecloses consideration of the “question concerning embodiment” from the perspective of the “dark underside”.

Author: Mariarosaria Taddeo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Warwick/University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Abstract:

The paper focuses on Informational Warfare (IW)- the warfare based on the use of ICTs and their ethical challenges. ICTs prove to be effective and advantageous war technologies, as they are efficient and relatively cheap when compared to the general coasts of war. For this reason, their use has grown rapidly in the last decade determining some deep changes in the way war is waged- latest revolution in military affairs (RMA). The proposed analysis is divided in three parts: (i) IW is analysed within the framework of the Information revolution; (ii) it is argued that IW is one of the most compelling cases of such a shift; (iii) consider the problems arising when IW is considered within the framework of Just War Theory (JWT).

Author: Laura Panã (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest, Romania

Abstract:

Our paper may be seen as a third step in the emergent field of Artificial Ethics, which is a part of Technoethics and, more precisely, a branch of ICT Ethics. Artificial Ethics may be conceived and built as a new and more coherent, clear and concrete field of ethics, suitable for both human and artificial moral agents. Artificial Ethics building will be, in fact, a product of the co-cognition and co-construction of human and artificial intelligent agents, in their natural and artificial, but common evolution. Therefore, a mixed natural-artificial kind of moral agents will occur on the background of different but concurrent processes, and equally as a result of an increasing human-computer interaction that makes artificial intelligent agents actually social agents.

Author: Jean-Gabriel Ganascia (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University Paris VI- Pierre and Marie Curie, France

Abstract:

“Plug & Pray” is neither a new characteristic of a computing device, nor a protocol for designing and configuring device, even less a technical standard. It is not any more a catchy phrase used by an engineer to name some new technological invention. However, the reason why we introduce this paper on ethics of singularity with a chapter entitled “Plug and Pray” is not at all technical; it is to refer a film about ethics of Artificial Intelligence, of which main protagonists were, among others, Raymond Kurzweil, Hiroshi Ishiguro, Neil Gershenfeld and Joseph Weizenbaum. This paper does not constitute a commentary of this film, but a discussion of the question debated in the film about the ethical status of the Singularity.

Author: Johnny H. Soraker (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Twente, Netherlands

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the ethical implications of video game designers’ increasing use of psychological research in game design. I will argue that the psychological and societal effects are more worrisome than the oft-discussed effects of video game violence, and that it is comparable to many practices that are currently regulated in most jurisdictions. Following an overview of the role of psychology in the game industry and the effects of particular types of game design on user behaviour, I will conclude that the only remedy lies in using the same psychological research to educate gamers (children in particular). The importance of this lies in the tremendous effect these behaviour-modifying technologies have upon our autonomy, quality of life, and ethical obligations to others.

Author: John K. Lewis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Maryland, United States

Abstract:

A pilot study of a vendor provided automated grading system was conducted in a Business Law class of 27 students. Students answered a business law fact pattern question which was reviewed and graded by the textbook vendor utilizing artificial intelligence software. Students were surveyed on their use, satisfaction, perceptions and technical issues utilising the Write Experience automated essay scoring (AES) software. The instructor also chronicles the adoption, set up and use of an AES, as well as details which are the advantages and disadvantages of utilising such software in an undergraduate course environment where some students may not be technologically adept or may lack motivation to experiment with a new testing procedure.

Author: Clarence S. Johnson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Middle State University, United States

Abstract:

Recent developments in technology arguably have led to the demystification of the concept of a person, and hence of human biological activities. One need only consider the sphere of bioethics in order to see this. But should we conclude from the successes of our technoscience, even in putatively problematic cases such as the aforementioned, that it is impossible to regulate technology? My proposed aim in this study is to sketch an answer to this question. No doubt questions will arise about the very nature of morality and whose concept of morality is the basis for constraining technology? I shall address such questions by invoking certain fundamental principles central to any ethical system. These principles are (i) Life-valuation, (ii) Goodness (or nonmaleficence) and (iii) Justice.

Author: Soraj Hongladarom (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Abstract:

The advent of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter has ushered the era of social networking where seemingly almost everyone on the planet has an account or a profile. These social media sites have naturally spawned a huge number of studies, many of which are critical. For example, when somebody is “friending” another on Facebook, are they really friends in the traditional sense? What I would like to do in this paper is to identity can be perceived to possess the characteristics of the self or the person. Basically speaking, the core problem actually is: What are the metaphysical characteristics of the online person? For that, a debate regarding the concept of person, differences or similarities within real and online world will be discussed.

Author: Chloé S. Georas (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico

Abstract:

In recent years we have witnessed an increased interest in robots for the elderly, variously called service, nursing or domestic robots, which are touted as a solution to the growing challenges of elder care. Despite the “rosy” arguments in favour of delegating the care of the elderly to robots, there are some thornier questions concerning the design of robots to serve. Therefore, the paper will have four sections: (i) discussion by critiquing Masahiro’s seminal theory on robot design; (ii) explore the notion of gender by design through the lens of queer theory and performance studies; (ii) by the way of Bourdieu’s theory on symbolic violence, I dissect Petersen’s perturbing theory; (iv) address Laporte’s History of Shit in relation to the emergence of the Carebot Industrial Complex.

Author: Kiyoshi Murata1 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) & Yohko Orito2

Affiliation: Meiji University1, Ehime University2, Japan1,2

Abstract:

The development and permeation of the social media have spawned a new phase of personal information and privacy protection. The social media are designed so that individual users are encouraged to reveal and spread their personal information. Consequently, anyone can hardly control the accumulation and also the access to and use of the accumulated information. Regardless of being conscious or unconscious, those who enjoy using a service accept the values embedded in it. This paper discusses ethical issues that organisations need to ensure, as for instance “co-ownership of digital objects” (digital objects stored in organisational databases or owned by other individuals which contain our personal information), or “privacy premium” (system that balances people's favourable controlling their identity and the prosperity of the digital economy).

Author: Piotr Pawlak (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland

Abstract:

The theme of the paper is to outline the changes taking place within the political culture of the widely understood information society. “Political Culture” is an interesting concept from the field of political science, which refers “the totality of attitudes, values and behavior patterns of relations between government and citizens” (Wiatr, 1999) Therefore, does the Internet determines the political culture of information society? Or, enables the spread of (global) set of cultural values? And, if a greater participation of citizens in politics (possible by the use modern technology) affects a greater political awareness, as well as develop the ability to critically analyse of the facts? The answer is a trade-off: omnipresence of mass culture/ICT implies political culture homogenization vs. glocal perceptions.

Author: Olubukola Olugasa (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Babcock University, Nigeria

Abstract:

A major challenge in Nigeria to attaining good governance, enduring sustainable democratization, security and good environment for social and economic development has been the inefficient, ineffective and corrupt third arm of government, the judiciary. This paper seeks to explore and apply, in practical terms and with a view to providing a sustainable model, the facilities offered by information and communication technology (ICT) to the criminal justice system (CJS). From the field work, I will suggest that such legal framework will be needful in Nigeria in order to achieve a virile and sustainable development. The purpose is to explore the possibilities available through ICT to attaining the maxim founded on the pronouncement of William Gladstone, i.e., “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Author: Ryoko Asai (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Uppsala University/Meiji University, Sweden/Japan

Abstract:

The term of “social media” appears in newspapers and magazines everyday and the huge number people use social media actively in daily life. Among social media, Twitter has been focusing on its strong power as the tool for political change recent years. While Twitter has of-expressed problems as well as the “traditional” social media due to its technical characteristics, also stimulates people’s communication online and bring about opportunities for social interaction and democratic dialogue. On the other hand, we need to nurture skills to utilize critical and rational way of thinking through dialogue not only between others also between themselves internally. This study explores characteristics of social media and differences between “traditional” social media and Twitter, and how the differences affect people’s information behaviour in Japan.

Author: James Williams (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Oxford Internet Institute, University, United Kingdom

Abstract:

This paper will argue that the notion of a distinct “Internet” or “online” experience has been primarily shaped by the use of metaphors rooted in the visual-spatial biases of particular devices of access. It will explore how, amidst the rise of mobile Internet use in recent years, we may be able to trace a linguistic shift away from the use of visual-spatial metaphors. The paper will then propose that, as personal computing moves further into the paradigm of “augmented reality,” because it pushes devices into the background, minimizes mediation, and presents the Internet as possible “vectors of experience” (possibility to reconstruct our conception of the Internet as experience). Finally, the paper will conclude by considering whether any non-metaphorical conceptions of “online” experience are ultimately possible.

Author: Shipon Barua (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Affiliation: Mahachulalongkorn University, Thailand

Abstract:

It was not until the twentieth century that the development of the ethics of technology as a systematic and more or less independent subdiscipline of philosophy started. A plausible reason for this late development of ethics of technology is the instrumental perspective, which was severely criticised by Heidegger and Ellul and philosophers from the Frankfurt School (e.g., Adorno). The second half of the twentieth century has witnessed a richer variety of conceptualizations of technology as a: political and cultural phenomenon, a socio-professional activity, or cognitive activity. Today, the involvement of other disciplines in ethical reflections is a reality as Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Technology Assessment (TA) denote. Concluding, this paper aims to summarise and criticise the different approaches to technological philosophy.

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