Philosophy and Technology 35 (2):1-24 (2022)

Should artificial intelligences ever be included as co-authors of democratic decisions? According to the conventional view in democratic theory, the answer depends on the relationship between the political unit and the entity that is either affected or subjected to its decisions. The relational conditions for inclusion as stipulated by the all-affected and all-subjected principles determine the spatial extension of democratic inclusion. Thus, AI qualifies for democratic inclusion if and only if AI is either affected or subjected to decisions by the political unit in relevant ways. This paper argues that the conventional view is too simple; that it neglects democratic reasons to recognize only agents and/or moral patients as participants in decision-making. The claim defended is that AAP and ASP implicitly affirm requirements for agency and patiency. In ASP, the entity included must be an agent understood either in terms of legal status, capacity to comply with the law or ability to recognize legitimate authority. In AAP, the entity included must be a patient, understood either in terms of capacity for sentience or consciousness. Thus, the idea here is to explore the potential democratic inclusion of artificial intelligences by an updated account of the relevant conditions of agency and patiency that are implicit in democratic theory. Although conceivable that AI is or will be either affected or subjected in relevant ways to decisions made by political units, it is far less clear that AI will ever be agents or patients in the sense required for democratic inclusion.
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DOI 10.1007/s13347-022-00525-3
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