Transparency is now a fundamental principle for data processing under the General Data Protection Regulation. We explore what this requirement entails for artificial intelligence and automated decision-making systems. We address the topic of transparency in artificial intelligence by integrating legal, social, and ethical aspects. We first investigate the ratio legis of the transparency requirement in the General Data Protection Regulation and its ethical underpinnings, showing its focus on the provision of information and explanation. We then discuss the pitfalls with respect (...) to this requirement by focusing on the significance of contextual and performative factors in the implementation of transparency. We show that human–computer interaction and human-robot interaction literature do not provide clear results with respect to the benefits of transparency for users of artificial intelligence technologies due to the impact of a wide range of contextual factors, including performative aspects. We conclude by integrating the information- and explanation-based approach to transparency with the critical contextual approach, proposing that transparency as required by the General Data Protection Regulation in itself may be insufficient to achieve the positive goals associated with transparency. Instead, we propose to understand transparency relationally, where information provision is conceptualized as communication between technology providers and users, and where assessments of trustworthiness based on contextual factors mediate the value of transparency communications. This relational concept of transparency points to future research directions for the study of transparency in artificial intelligence systems and should be taken into account in policymaking. (shrink)
In this article, we develop the concept of Transparency by Design that serves as practical guidance in helping promote the beneficial functions of transparency while mitigating its challenges in automated-decision making environments. With the rise of artificial intelligence and the ability of AI systems to make automated and self-learned decisions, a call for transparency of how such systems reach decisions has echoed within academic and policy circles. The term transparency, however, relates to multiple concepts, fulfills many functions, and holds different (...) promises that struggle to be realized in concrete applications. Indeed, the complexity of transparency for ADM shows tension between transparency as a normative ideal and its translation to practical application. To address this tension, we first conduct a review of transparency, analyzing its challenges and limitations concerning automated decision-making practices. We then look at the lessons learned from the development of Privacy by Design, as a basis for developing the Transparency by Design principles. Finally, we propose a set of nine principles to cover relevant contextual, technical, informational, and stakeholder-sensitive considerations. Transparency by Design is a model that helps organizations design transparent AI systems, by integrating these principles in a step-by-step manner and as an ex-ante value, not as an afterthought. (shrink)
The global Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in social and economic disruption unprecedented in the modern era. Many countries have introduced severe measures to contain the virus, including travel restrictions, public event bans, non-essential business closures and remote work policies. While digital technologies help governments and organizations to enforce protection measures, such as contact tracing, their rushed deployment and adoption also raises profound concerns about surveillance, privacy and data protection. This article presents two critical cases on digital surveillance technologies implemented during (...) the Covid-19 pandemic and delineates the privacy implications thereof. We explain the contextual nature of privacy trade-offs during a pandemic and explore how regulatory and technical responses are needed to protect privacy in such circumstances. By providing a multi-disciplinary conversation on the value of privacy and data protection during a global pandemic, this article reflects on the implications digital solutions have for the future and raises the question of whether there is a way to have expedited privacy assessments that could anticipate and help mitigate adverse privacy implications these may have on society. (shrink)
Tradition in the Ethics of Alasdair MacIntyre presents a stimulating intellectual history and expertly reasoned defense of this towering figure in contemporary American philosophy. Drawing on interviews and published works, Christopher Lutz traces MacIntyre’s philosophical development and refutes the criticisms of the major thinkers—including Martha Nussbaum and Thomas Nagel—who have most vocally attacked him. Permanently shifting the debate on MacIntyre’s oeuvre, Lutz convincingly demonstrates how MacIntyre’s neo-Aristotelian ethical thought provides an essential corrective to the contemporary discussions of relativism and ideology, (...) while successfully drawing on the objectivity of Thomistic natural law. (shrink)
Tradition in the Ethics of Alasdair MacIntyre presents a stimulating intellectual history and expertly reasoned defense of this towering figure in contemporary American philosophy. Drawing on interviews and published works, Christopher Lutz traces MacIntyre's philosophical development and refutes the criticisms of the major thinkers—including Martha Nussbaum and Thomas Nagel—who have most vocally attacked him. Permanently shifting the debate on MacIntyre's oeuvre, Lutz convincingly demonstrates how MacIntyre's neo-Aristotelian ethical thought provides an essential corrective to the contemporary discussions of relativism and ideology, (...) while successfully drawing on the objectivity of Thomistic natural law. (shrink)
In this position paper, we have used Alan Cooper’s persona technique to illustrate the utility of audio- and video-based AAL technologies. Therefore, two primary examples of potential audio- and video-based AAL users, Anna and Irakli, serve as reference points for describing salient ethical, legal and social challenges related to use of AAL. These challenges are presented on three levels: individual, societal, and regulatory. For each challenge, a set of policy recommendations is suggested.
There is little consensus on what artificial intelligence (AI) systems may or may not embrace. Although this may point to multiplicity of interpretations and backgrounds, a lack of conceptual clarity could thwart the development of common ground around the concept among researchers, practitioners and users of AI and pave the way for misinterpretation and abuse of the concept. This article argues that one of the effective ways to delineate the concept of AI is to compare and contrast it with human (...) intelligence. In doing so, the article broaches the unique capabilities of humans and AI in relation to one another (human and machine tacit knowledge), as well as two types of AI systems: one that goes beyond human intelligence and one that is necessarily and inherently tied to it. It finally highlights how humans and AI can augment their capabilities and intelligence through synergistic human–AI interactions (i.e., human-augmented AI and augmented human intelligence), resulting in hybrid intelligence, and concludes with a future-looking research agenda. (shrink)
Purpose This conceptual contribution is based on the observation that digital inequalities literature has not sufficiently considered digital footprints as an important social differentiator. The purpose of the paper is to inspire current digital inequality frameworks to include this new dimension. Design/methodology/approach Literature on digital inequalities is combined with research on privacy, big data and algorithms. The focus on current findings from an interdisciplinary point of view allows for a synthesis of different perspectives and conceptual development of digital footprints as (...) a new dimension of digital inequality. Findings Digital footprints originate from active content creation, passive participation and platform-generated data. The literature review shows how different social groups may experience systematic advantages or disadvantages based on their digital footprints. A special emphasis should be on those at the margins, for example, users of low socioeconomic background. Originality/value By combining largely independent research fields, the contribution opens new avenues for studying digital inequalities, including innovative methodologies to do so. (shrink)
Alasdair Chalmers MacIntyre Alasdair MacIntyre is a Scottish born, British educated, moral and political philosopher who has worked in the United States since 1970. His work in ethics and politics reaches across disciplines, drawing on sociology and philosophy of the social sciences as well as Greek and Latin classical literature. MacIntyre began his […].
This essay examines relativist and fideist challenges to Alasdair MacIntyre’s theory of rationality by reading some of MacIntyre’s more recent works in thecontext of his earlier work in the philosophy of religion, Marxism, and the philosophy of the social sciences.
Ambient assisted living technologies are increasingly presented and sold as essential smart additions to daily life and home environments that will radically transform the healthcare and wellness markets of the future. An ethical approach and a thorough understanding of all ethics in surveillance/monitoring architectures are therefore pressing. AAL poses many ethical challenges raising questions that will affect immediate acceptance and long-term usage. Furthermore, ethical issues emerge from social inequalities and their potential exacerbation by AAL, accentuating the existing access gap between (...) high-income countries and low and middle-income countries. Legal aspects mainly refer to the adherence to existing legal frameworks and cover issues related to product safety, data protection, cybersecurity, intellectual property, and access to data by public, private, and government bodies. Successful privacy-friendly AAL applications are needed, as the pressure to bring Internet of Things devices and ones equipped with artificial intelligence quickly to market cannot overlook the fact that the environments in which AAL will operate are mostly private. The social issues focus on the impact of AAL technologies before and after their adoption. Future AAL technologies need to consider all aspects of equality such as gender, race, age and social disadvantages and avoid increasing loneliness and isolation among, e.g. older and frail people. Finally, the current power asymmetries between the target and general populations should not be underestimated nor should the discrepant needs and motivations of the target group and those developing and deploying AAL systems. Whilst AAL technologies provide promising solutions for the health and social care challenges, they are not exempt from ethical, legal and social issues. A set of ELSI guidelines is needed to integrate these factors at the research and development stage. (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is to connect the ‘Disquieting Suggestion’ at the beginning of After Virtue to a broader picture of Alasdair MacIntyre’s critique of modern moral philosophy. The essay begins with MacIntyre’s fictional scientific catastrophe, and uses four passages from the text of After Virtue to identify the analogous real philosophical catastrophe. The essay relates the resulting critique of modern moral philosophy to MacIntyre’s concern for recognizing the social practices of morality as human actions in “Notes from the (...) Moral Wilderness”. The essay concludes by considering the implications of MacIntyre’s philosophy for the study of history, realism, and tradition. (shrink)
In this Article, we explore the practices of extensive data collection among sharing economy platforms, highlighting how the unknown future value of big data creates an ethical problem for a fair exchange relationship between companies and users. Specifically, we present a typology with four scenarios related to the future value of data. In the remainder of the Article, we first describe the status quo of data collection practices in the sharing economy, followed by a discussion of the value-generating affordances of (...) big data. We then introduce the typology of four scenarios for the future value of data. Finally, the paper concludes with a short discussion on the implications of information asymmetries for a fair exchange process. (shrink)
Philosophy that deserves its name needs to discover and to understand what is rather than to try to mold the world into an image of human ideas. Openness to all that is and confidence that the world is intelligible marked the classical political philosophy of Plato and Aristotle and gave birth to the metaphysical tradition that continues through Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and their successors. Metaphysics arose in philosophy because philosophers found the need to posit the existence of an underlying truth, (...) transcending our material world, which sets real limits on human choices and provides a real measure of justice and beauty. (shrink)
This paper has four parts. The first part gives an overview of Alasdair MacIntyre’s theory of rationality; the remaining three parts examine the theory’s implications through the consideration of three examples. Two examples, the reception of MacIntyre’s mature work and the study of Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways, illustrate the implications of MacIntyre’s theory for reading and interpreting contemporary literature and historical texts. A third example, the investigation of late medieval nominalism, shows how the more straightforward problems of reading and interpreting (...) can be exacerbated during periods of transition within traditions. Traditions, it turns out, can be fragile, yet once broken they are capable of concealing their incoherence and inconsistency from their current and future scholars. If MacIntyre’s theory that rationality is both tradition-constituted and tradition-constitutive is truthful, it follows that the work of contemporary reading, traditional interpretation, and historical scholarship always requires careful attention to differences in rationalities, lest readers misinterpret by filling gaps in their readings with their own presuppositions. (shrink)