Science and Engineering Ethics 27 (5):1-20 (2021)

Artificial intelligence and robotic technologies have become nearly ubiquitous. In some ways, the developments have likely helped us, but in other ways sophisticated technologies set back our interests. Among the latter sort is what has been dubbed the ‘severance problem’—the idea that technologies sever our connection to the world, a connection which is necessary for us to flourish and live meaningful lives. I grant that the severance problem is a threat we should mitigate and I ask: how can we stave it off? In particular, the fact that some technologies exhibit behavior that is unclear to us seems to constitute a kind of severance. Building upon contemporary work on moral responsibility, I argue for a mechanism I refer to as ‘technological answerability’, namely the capacity to recognize human demands for answers and to respond accordingly. By designing select devices—such as robotic assistants and personal AI programs—for increased answerability, we see at least one way of satisfying our demands for answers and thereby retaining our connection to a world increasingly occupied by technology.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11948-021-00334-5
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,593
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Responsibility From the Margins.David Shoemaker - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
Conversation and Responsibility.Michael McKenna - 2011 - Oxford University Press USA.

View all 37 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Psychologism.Charles Travis - 2006 - In Barry C. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 103--26.
Answerability Without Answers.Graham Hubbs - 2013 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 7 (3):1-15.
Pojęcie Osób Pozostających We Wspólnym Pożyciu – Analiza Dogmatyczna.Justyna Matynia - 2017 - Filozofia Publiczna I Edukacja Demokratyczna 6 (2):109-124.
Legal and Moral Responsibility.Antony Duff - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (6):978-986.
Knowledge Without Value?Felipe Rocha L. Santos - 2018 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 22 (2):339-357.
Extension and Self-Connection.Ben Blumson & Manikaran Singh - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy.


Added to PP index

Total views
5 ( #1,182,736 of 2,462,085 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #144,063 of 2,462,085 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes