AI and Society:1-10 (forthcoming)

Fabio Tollon
Bielefeld University
Kiasha Naidoo
University of the Western Cape
The ubiquity of technology in our lives and its culmination in artificial intelligence raises questions about its role in our moral considerations. In this paper, we address a moral concern in relation to technological systems given their deep integration in our lives. Coeckelbergh develops a social-relational account, suggesting that it can point us toward a dynamic, historicised evaluation of moral concern. While agreeing with Coeckelbergh’s move away from grounding moral concern in the ontological properties of entities, we suggest that it problematically upholds moral relativism. We suggest that the role of power, as described by Arendt and Foucault, is significant in social relations and as curating moral possibilities. This produces a clearer picture of the relations at hand and opens up the possibility that relations may be deemed violent. Violence as such gives us some way of evaluating the morality of a social relation, moving away from Coeckelbergh’s seeming relativism while retaining his emphasis on social–historical moral precedent.
Keywords Moral consideration  Power  Foucault  Relational turn  Moral status  Technology
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DOI 10.1007/s00146-021-01303-z
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