AI Extenders and the Ethics of Mental Health

In Marcello Ienca & Fabrice Jotterand (eds.), Artificial Intelligence in Brain and Mental Health: Philosophical, Ethical & Policy Issues. Springer International Publishing (forthcoming)
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Abstract

The extended mind thesis maintains that the functional contributions of tools and artefacts can become so essential for our cognition that they can be constitutive parts of our minds. In other words, our tools can be on a par with our brains: our minds and cognitive processes can literally ‘extend’ into the tools. Several extended mind theorists have argued that this ‘extended’ view of the mind offers unique insights into how we understand, assess, and treat certain cognitive conditions. In this chapter we suggest that using AI extenders, i.e., tightly coupled cognitive extenders that are imbued with machine learning and other ‘artificially intelligent’ tools, presents both new ethical challenges and opportunities for mental health. We focus on several mental health conditions that can develop differently by the use of AI extenders for people with cognitive disorders and then discuss some of the related opportunities and challenges.

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Karina Vold
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

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