Categories
Philosophy

Can our ideas love us back?

If other people must always and to some extent only ever be ideas to any of us, how can those ideas ever love us back without the whole thing devolving into intricate games of haunted, hollow and narcissistic self-deception? What, in essence, is the meta-ethical solution here? Is there one? I suspect there is, but […]

Categories
art Philosophy

Aesthetic Relativity: Lascaux and Other Minds

Representational relativity is an epiphenomenon strongly supported by the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (itself perhaps also, and ironically, subject to the representational vicissitudes and aesthetics of oscillating academic taste and cultures). While we might never decompress exactly what the Lascaux cave art meant to its creators, the reflexivity of creative expression as a function of whichever cultural […]

Categories
technology

Can a robot write a symphony?

Detective Del Spooner : Human beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams, but not you, you are just a machine. An imitation of life. Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a… canvas into a beautiful masterpiece? Sonny : Can you? Movie: I, Robot, 2004. (After Asimov). A robot can write a symphony, it just can […]

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Philosophy

Ethical Principles in AI: The Diversity of Approaches Masks a Unifying Truth

From the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University: “(…) this white paper and its associated data visualization compare the contents of thirty-six prominent AI principles documents side-by-side.” It is clearly an admirable endeavour. Note that: a simultaneously proliferating diversity of (re)sources and aggregation around key points reflects and illustrates more than […]

Categories
Philosophy

Corporate Responsibility and Ethical Consequence

Context: Juukan Gorge inquiry: Rio Tinto’s decision to blow up Indigenous rock shelters ‘inexcusable’ Wittgenstein at one point identified meaning as a function of use. From a social constructivist perspective, this follows quite naturally as a corollary fact of epistemological (as much as linguistic) self-reference that all integrated information-processing, meaning-generating or socially-constructed contexts embody. It […]

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Philosophy

Personal Data, Privacy and the Normative Ubiquity of Technological Self-Surveillance

An introspective taxonomy of labels and the grammatical order of participatory technology in – and as – systems of knowledge and control has always been the nature, kernel and subjective essence of personal identity. It is difficult to identify a particular inflection point at which this Linnean, categorical game evolved from constructive personal boundary and […]

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Philosophy

Ethical Impropriety

Ethical frameworks are those guiding principles within which we are free to make moral choices. The extent to which our choices align to the semantic intentions of any particular ethical framework is a definition and declaration of our adherence, conformity or alignment to it. Notice, however, that the majority of ethical frameworks we encounter do […]

Categories
Philosophy

Ethics and Power

Power is really an inverse function of ethics. What is considered permissible or (indeed) valuable under any moving ethical frame of reference is implicitly – some would argue necessarily – representative of the power structures, systems and integrated social, political and ideological modalities of a time and place. Notice also that what is considered good […]

Categories
Philosophy

The Recursive Enigmas of Battling Bias

Bias represents an interesting and potentially intractable problem. Regardless of how (or where) we seek to address or interdict it, there exists an intrinsic, endemic property of complex information and energy-processing (i.e. logical, material) systems that natively orients those entities towards abstraction, abbreviation and mnemonic compression. Bias is the persistence of logical errors that naturally […]

Categories
Philosophy

Can Vegetarians Ethically Eat Artificial Meat?

Context: Real Meat That Vegetarians Can Eat If the reason for not eating meat is purely ethical, then consuming simulated meat bears no moral consequence whatsoever to a person committed to a position that all plausibly sentient life is sacred, that all manifestations of embodied experience and awareness are a difference of degree, not of […]

Categories
culture

On Moral Machines and Embodied Biases

Context: The Appearance of Robots Affects Our Perception of the Morality of Their Decisions Curious: “People consider moral decisions made by humanoid robots to be less ethically sound than when another human or traditional-looking robot makes the same decision.” The uncanny valley rides again. This is a particular instance of a general principle. The apperception […]

Categories
Philosophy

Can Robots possess Legal Rights?

Context: Experts Sign Open Letter Slamming Europe’s Proposal to Recognise Robots as Legal Persons Robots might be a bit of a stretch for asserting personhood although it does remain somewhat indistinct as to where and when awareness, experience or sentience arise in recognisably “living” things. We may (following, at a distance, something I once read […]