The rise of AI-based systems has been accompanied by the belief that these systems are impartial and do not suffer from the biases that humans and older technologies express. It becomes evident, however, that gender and racial biases exist in some AI algorithms. The question is where the bias is rooted—in the training dataset or in the algorithm? Is it a linguistic issue or a broader sociological current? Works in feminist philosophy of technology and behavioral economics reveal the gender bias (...) in AI technologies as a multi-faceted phenomenon, and the linguistic explanation as too narrow. The next step moves from the linguistic aspects to the relational ones, with postphenomenology. One of the analytical tools of this theory is the “I-technology-world” formula that models our relations with technologies, and through them—with the world. Realizing that AI technologies give rise to new types of relations in which the technology has an “enhanced technological intentionality”, a new formula is suggested: “I-algorithm-dataset.” In the third part of the article, four types of solutions to the gender bias in AI are reviewed: ignoring any reference to gender, revealing the considerations that led the algorithm to decide, designing algorithms that are not biased, or lastly, involving humans in the process. In order to avoid gender bias, we can recall a feminist basic understanding—visibility matters. Users and developers should be aware of the possibility of gender and racial biases, and try to avoid them, bypass them, or exterminates them altogether. (shrink)
Introduction: making the invisible visible -- The nobility of the material -- Research at war -- The guilded age of research -- The doctor as whistle-blower -- New rules for the laboratory -- Bedside ethics -- The doctor as stranger -- Life through death -- Commissioning ethics -- No one to trust -- New rules for the bedside -- Epilogue: The price of success.
This article examines William Rothman’s recent essay on Vertigo , ‘Scottie’s Dream, Judy’s Plan, Madeleine’s Revenge’, and particularly his suggestion that in a crucial scene towards the end of the film the character Judy deliberately puts on jewellery in order that Scottie becomes aware that she was the actress who played Madeleine. We look at why Rothman was previously unable to see this in the film, why Judy is unable directly to tell Scottie and why for Rothman (...) a deep truth of the film is this inability of Judy to tell Scottie. In order to address these issues, this article looks at art historian Michael Fried’s notion of “absorption”, and particularly that interpretation of it offered by Lacanian cultural theorist Joan Copjec in ‘The Invention of Crying and the Antitheatrics of the Act’ in her collection Imagine There’s No Woman: Ethics and Sublimation. (shrink)
William Rothman argues that the driving force of Hitchcock's work was his struggle to reconcile the dark vision of his favorite Oscar Wilde quote, "Each man kills the thing he loves," with the quintessentially American philosophy, articulated in Emerson's writings, that gave classical Hollywood movies of the New Deal era their extraordinary combination of popularity and artistic seriousness. A Hitchcock thriller could be a comedy of remarriage or a melodrama of an unknown woman, both Emersonian genres, except for the (...) murderous villain and godlike author, Hitchcock, who pulls the villain's strings -- and ours. Because Hitchcock believed that the camera has a murderous aspect, the question "What if anything justifies killing?," which every Hitchcock film engages, was for him a disturbing question about his own art. Tracing the trajectory of Hitchcock's career, Rothman discerns a progression in the films' meditations on murder and artistic creation. This progression culminates in _Marnie _, Hitchcock's most controversial film, in which Hitchcock overcame his ambivalence and fully embraced the Emersonian worldview he had always also resisted. Reading key Emerson passages with the degree of attention he accords to Hitchcock sequences, Rothman discovers surprising affinities between Hitchcock's way of thinking cinematically and the philosophical way of thinking Emerson's essays exemplify. He finds that the terms in which Emerson thought about reality, about our "flux of moods," about what it is within us that never changes, about freedom, about America, about reading, about writing, and about thinking are remarkably pertinent to our experience of films and to thinking and writing about them. He also reflects on the implications of this discovery, not only for Hitchcock scholarship but also for film criticism in general. (shrink)
This paper addresses the changing ideology regarding reproduction, an evolving American, and potentially worldwide, value system regarding children and parenthood. Children are increasingly being seen as products, and the new technology of reproduction, including the sale of reproductive material and services and especially prenatal diagnosis and selective abortion, encourage this commodification of the fetus. While the new technology does indeed offer new choices, it also creates new structures and new limitations on choice. In the contemporary American social structure, these choices (...) are inevitably couched in terms of production and commodification, and thus do not offer individuals genuine choice or control. (shrink)
Freeman Dyson has questioned whether any conceivable experiment in the real universe can detect a single graviton. If not, is it meaningful to talk about gravitons as physical entities? We attempt to answer Dyson’s question and find it is possible concoct an idealized thought experiment capable of detecting one graviton; however, when anything remotely resembling realistic physics is taken into account, detection becomes impossible, indicating that Dyson’s conjecture is very likely true. We also point out several mistakes in the literature (...) dealing with graviton detection and production. (shrink)
This essay explores the evolution of the tension between the principles of autonomy and beneficence in American health care over the past several decades. In retrospect it is clear that the social movements of the 1960s and 70s set the tone and the goals for the emergence of a new emphasis on patient autonomy. Indeed, the impact of civil liberties-minded lawyers on the promotion of a commitment to autonomy is far more vital than the term “bioethics” commonly suggests. Tracing the (...) impact of this principle on clinical encounters over the past 25 years makes apparent that consumers have extended their influence over a wide range of treatment decisions. This influence is now being reinforced by an extraordinary information revolution, which includes the computer, the web, the dot.coms, the search engines, and such novel practices as Direct-to-Consumer advertising by pharmaceutical companies. The impact of these developments may be seen in such diverse issues as physician-assisted suicide and the failure of national health insurance initiatives. (shrink)
The Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires health care product manufacturers to report to the federal government payments more than $10 to physicians. Bringing unprecedented transparency to medicine, PPSA holds great potential for enabling medical stakeholders to manage conflicts of interest and build patient trust—crucial responsibilities of medical professionalism. The authors conducted six focus groups with 42 physicians in Chicago, IL, San Francisco, CA, and Washington, DC, to explore attitudes and experiences around PPSA. Participants valued the concept of transparency but were (...) wary of the law's design and consequences. They downplayed PPSA's potential and felt it undermined public trust. Showing broad unawareness of COI, they dismissed the notion of industry influence and welcomed company “perks.” Misapprehensions may leave physicians unprepared to advance the opportunities PPSA holds for professionalism. The authors offer recommendations for government and medicine to improve physicians' and other stakeholders' understandings and use of the data. (shrink)
This is a revised version of a keynote presentation delivered by Professor Rothman at the Conference on Stanley Cavell’s Philosophy the Day After Tomorrow , University of Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne, September 2012.
At a time when there is an ever-widening gap between what the expert knows and what the average person believes, this accessible volume clearly explains the scientific facts and concepts that are indispensable for an understanding of our material universe. Milton Rothman examines sixteen standard myths about the nature of science, demonstrating that much of what passes for logical argumentation consists of the repetition of clichés and current folklore.--Publisher description.
Addresses the issues at the heart of international medicine and social responsibility. A number of international declarations have proclaimed that health care is a fundamental human right. But if we accept this broad commitment, how should we concretely define the state’s responsibility for the health of its citizens? Although there is growing debate over this issue, there are few books for general readers that provide engaging accounts of critical incidents, practices, and ideas in the field of human rights, health care, (...) and medicine. Included in the book are case studies of such issues as AIDS among orphans in Romania, organ trafficking, prison conditions, health care rationing, medical research in the third world, and South Africa’s constitutionally guaranteed right of access to health care. It uses these topics to address themes of protection of vulnerable populations, equity and fairness in delivering competent medical care, informed consent and the free flow of information, and state responsibility for ensuring physical, mental, and social well-being. (shrink)
Although the modern American kinship system is nominally a bilateral system, the very definition of kin ties is based on the principles of patriarchy. Women do not gain their rights to their children in this society as mothers, but as father-equivalents, sources of genetic material. In child rearing as in childbearing, women may take on the role of fathers to their children, substituting poorer women to do the traditional mothering work. The resultant recasting of the classic Oedipal drama in terms (...) of class and race rather than gender is described. This article argues that we must move beyond patriarchal definitions of the relations between parents and children, and beyond modifications that simply extend to some women, most often at cost to other women, some of the privileges of patriarchy. (shrink)