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Assessing socially disruptive technological change
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0071-3919
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2010 (English)In: Technology in society, ISSN 0160-791X, E-ISSN 1879-3274, Vol. 32, no 3, 209-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The co-evolution of society and potentially disruptive technologies makes decision guidance on such technologies difficult. Four basic principles are proposed for such decision guidance. None of the currently available methods satisfies these principles, but some of them contain useful methodological elements that should be integrated in a more satisfactory methodology. The outlines of such a methodology, multiple expertise interaction, are proposed. It combines elements from several previous methodologies, including (1) interdisciplinary groups of experts that assess the potential internal development of a particular technology; (2) external scenarios describing how the surrounding world can develop in ways that are relevant for the technology in question; and (3) a participatory process of convergence seminars, which is tailored to ensure that several alternative future developments are taken seriously into account. In particular, we suggest further development of a bottom-up scenario methodology to capture the co-evolutionary character of socio-technical development paths.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 32, no 3, 209-218 p.
Keyword [en]
Co-evolution, Convergence seminars, Critical functions of society, Decision guidance, Disruptive technologies, Multiple expertise interaction, Scenario planning, Technical artifact, Technology assessment
National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25198DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2010.07.002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-77956925681OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-25198DiVA: diva2:356419
Note
QC 20101012Available from: 2010-10-12 Created: 2010-10-12 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Philosophical and empirical investigations in nanoethics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Philosophical and empirical investigations in nanoethics
2009 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2009. vi, 13 p.
Series
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1650-8831 ; 32
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10543 (URN)978-91-7415-250-0 (ISBN)
Presentation
2009-05-18, Seminarierummet, Avd för filosofi, KTH, Teknikringen 78B, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20170118

Available from: 2009-05-25 Created: 2009-05-25 Last updated: 2017-01-18Bibliographically approved
2. Autonomous Systems in Society and War: Philosophical Inquiries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Autonomous Systems in Society and War: Philosophical Inquiries
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis is to look at some philosophical issues surrounding autonomous systems in society and war. These issues can be divided into three main categories. The first, discussed in papers I and II, concerns ethical issues surrounding the use of autonomous systems – where the focus in this thesis is on military robots. The second issue, discussed in paper III, concerns how to make sure that advanced robots behave ethically adequate. The third issue, discussed in papers IV and V, has to do with agency and responsibility. Another issue, somewhat aside from the philosophical, has to do with coping with future technologies, and developing methods for dealing with potentially disruptive technologies. This is discussed in papers VI and VII.

Paper I systemizes some ethical issues surrounding the use of UAVs in war, with the laws of war as a backdrop. It is suggested that the laws of war are too wide and might be interpreted differently depending on which normative moral theory is used.

Paper II is about future, more advanced autonomous robots, and whether the use of such robots can undermine the justification for killing in war. The suggestion is that this justification is substantially undermined if robots are used to replace humans to a high extent. Papers I and II both suggest revisions or additions to the laws or war.

Paper III provides a discussion on one normative moral theory – ethics of care – connected to care robots. The aim is twofold: first, to provide a plausible and ethically relevant interpretation of the key term care in ethics of care, and second, to discuss whether ethics of care may be a suitable theory to implement in care robots.

Paper IV discusses robots connected to agency and responsibility, with a focus on consciousness. The paper has a functionalistic approach, and it is suggested that robots should be considered agents if they can behave as if they are, in a moral Turing test.

Paper V is also about robots and agency, but with a focus on free will. The main question is whether robots can have free will in the same sense as we consider humans to have free will when holding them responsible for their actions in a court of law. It is argued that autonomy with respect to norms is crucial for the agency of robots.

Paper VI investigates the assessment of socially disruptive technological change. The coevolution of society and potentially disruptive technolgies makes decision-guidance on such technologies difficult. Four basic principles are proposed for such decision guidance, involving interdisciplinary and participatory elements.

Paper VII applies the results from paper VI – and a workshop – to autonomous systems, a potentially disruptive technology. A method for dealing with potentially disruptive technolgies is developed in the paper.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. ix, 57 p.
Series
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1650-8831
Keyword
UAVs, drones, military robots, laws of war, justification for killing, ethics of care, care robots, functional morality, moral responsibility, Moral Turing Test, robot morality, artificial agent, artificial agency, autonomy, norms, disruptive technology, co-evolution, scenarios, autonomous systems, security, decision guidance, technology assessment
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-127813 (URN)978-91-7501-820-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-10-02, Kapellet, Brinellvägen 6-8, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20130911

Available from: 2013-09-11 Created: 2013-09-06 Last updated: 2014-06-17Bibliographically approved

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