Philosophy & Technology

http://link.springer.com/journal/13347

List of Papers (Total 87)

Algorithmic Decision-Making Based on Machine Learning from Big Data: Can Transparency Restore Accountability?

Decision-making assisted by algorithms developed by machine learning is increasingly determining our lives. Unfortunately, full opacity about the process is the norm. Would transparency contribute to restoring accountability for such systems as is often maintained? Several objections to full transparency are examined: the loss of privacy when datasets become public, the perverse ...

Big Data Analytics, Infectious Diseases and Associated Ethical Impacts

The exponential accumulation, processing and accrual of big data in healthcare are only possible through an equally rapidly evolving field of big data analytics. The latter offers the capacity to rationalize, understand and use big data to serve many different purposes, from improved services modelling to prediction of treatment outcomes, to greater patient and disease ...

Data Science as Machinic Neoplatonism

Data science is not simply a method but an organising idea. Commitment to the new paradigm overrides concerns caused by collateral damage, and only a counterculture can constitute an effective critique. Understanding data science requires an appreciation of what algorithms actually do; in particular, how machine learning learns. The resulting ‘insight through opacity’ drives the ...

From Impact to Importance: The Current State of the Wisdom-of-Crowds Justification of Link-Based Ranking Algorithms

In a legendary technical report, the Google founders sketched a wisdom-of-crowds justification for PageRank arguing that the algorithm, by aggregating incoming links to webpages in a sophisticated way, tracks importance (quality, relevance, etc.) on the web. On this reading of the report, webpages that have a high impact as measured by PageRank are supposed to be important webpages ...

Why the World Needs an International Cyberwar Convention

States’ capacity for using modern information and communication technology to inflict grave harm on enemies has been amply demonstrated in recent years, with many countries reporting large-scale cyberattacks against their military defense systems, water supply, and other critical infrastructure. Currently, no agreed-upon international rules or norms exist to govern international ...

‘My Fitbit Thinks I Can Do Better!’ Do Health Promoting Wearable Technologies Support Personal Autonomy?

This paper critically examines the extent to which health promoting wearable technologies can provide people with greater autonomy over their health. These devices are frequently presented as a means of expanding the possibilities people have for making healthier decisions and living healthier lives. We accept that by collecting, monitoring, analysing and displaying biomedical ...

Algorithmic Accountability and Public Reason

The ever-increasing application of algorithms to decision-making in a range of social contexts has prompted demands for algorithmic accountability. Accountable decision-makers must provide their decision-subjects with justifications for their automated system’s outputs, but what kinds of broader principles should we expect such justifications to appeal to? Drawing from political ...

Towards a Qualitative Assessment of Energy Practices: Illich and Borgmann on Energy in Society

Energy consumption is central to both a number of pressing environmental issues and to people’s attempts to improve their well-being. Although typically understood as essential for people to thrive, this paper sketches a theoretical foundation for the possibility that the form and amount of energy consumption in modern society may inhibit rather than enable human flourishing. It ...

The Argument Web: an Online Ecosystem of Tools, Systems and Services for Argumentation

The Argument Web is maturing as both a platform built upon a synthesis of many contemporary theories of argumentation in philosophy and also as an ecosystem in which various applications and application components are contributed by different research groups around the world. It already hosts the largest publicly accessible corpora of argumentation and has the largest number of ...

Why Designing Is Not Experimenting: Design Methods, Epistemic Praxis and Strategies of Knowledge Acquisition in Architecture

Using the example of architecture, this article defends the thesis that designing should not be regarded as a kind of experimenting. This is in contrast to a widespread methodological claim that design processes are equivalent to experimentation processes. The contrary thesis can be proven by focusing on actual practices, techniques and design strategies. Closely connected with the ...

‘Crises of Modernity’ Discourses and the Rise of Financial Technologies in a Contested Mechanized World

The aim of this article is to provide a discussion of scholarly ‘crisis of modernity’ discourses that have developed in the field of social philosophy. Re-visiting past and present discourses can be illuminating in at least three ways: it can reveal the broader picture of the present financialized and technologized world and the rise of financial technologies; it can provide ...

From Individual to Group Privacy in Big Data Analytics

Mature information societies are characterised by mass production of data that provide insight into human behaviour. Analytics (as in big data analytics) has arisen as a practice to make sense of the data trails generated through interactions with networked devices, platforms and organisations. Persistent knowledge describing the behaviours and characteristics of people can be ...

Warfighting for Cyber Deterrence: a Strategic and Moral Imperative

Theories of cyber deterrence are developing rapidly. However, the literature is missing an important ingredient—warfighting for deterrence. This controversial idea, most commonly associated with nuclear strategy during the later stages of the Cold War, affords a number of advantages. It provides enhanced credibility for deterrence, offers means to deal with deterrence failure ...

Extended Cognition and the Internet

The Internet is an important focus of attention for those concerned with issues of extended cognition. In particular, the application of active externalist theorizing to the Internet gives rise to the notion of Internet-extended cognition: the idea that the Internet can (on occasion) form part of an integrated nexus of material elements that serves as the realization base for human ...

Digital Art as ‘Monetised Graphics’: Enforcing Intellectual Property on the Blockchain

In a global economic landscape of hyper-commodification and financialisation, efforts to assimilate digital art into the high-stakes commercial art market have so far been rather unsuccessful, presumably because digital artworks cannot easily assume the status of precious object worthy of collection. This essay explores the use of blockchain technologies in attempts to create ...

Assigning Functions to Medical Technologies

Modern health care relies extensively on the use of technologies for assessing and treating patients, so it is important to be certain that health care technologies (i.e., pharmaceuticals, devices, procedures, and organizational systems) perform their professed functions in an effective and safe manner. Philosophers of technology have developed methods to assign and evaluate the ...

The Blockchain as a Narrative Technology: Investigating the Social Ontology and Normative Configurations of Cryptocurrencies

In this paper, we engage in a philosophical investigation of how blockchain technologies such as cryptocurrencies can mediate our social world. Emerging blockchain-based decentralised applications have the potential to transform our financial system, our bureaucracies and models of governance. We construct an ontological framework of “narrative technologies” that allows us to show ...

Escaping the Panopticon Over Time

The ‘right to be forgotten’ has been labelled censorship and disastrous for the freedom of expression. In this paper, we explain that effecting the ‘right to be forgotten’ with regard to search results is ‘censorship’ at the level of information retrieval. We however claim it is the least heavy yet most effective means to get the minimum amount of censorship overall, while enabling ...

New Technology Meets Age-Old Problems

There is a tendency to associate the recent dramatic increase in the media reporting organisations uncovering significant data issues or sudden data value, with the enabling platforms provided by technology solutions. However, sharing written information in a way that maximises the value to be gained, whilst minimising the risk of data getting into the wrong hands, and meeting the ...