In the midst of lockdowns and social distancing, the role of digital technology in society has become made ever more integral. For many of us, the lived experience of the pandemic would have been strikingly different even a decade ago without the affordances of the latest information and communication technology—even as digital divides persist within, and between, societies. Yet as digital technology “fades into the foreground” of everyday life, for both scholars and civil society at large it is necessary to engage even more robustly with the implications of such shifts.
I am pleased to say that the latest edition of the Digital Ethics Lab Yearbook, which Jessica Morley and I co-edited, is now in print. In our Introduction, we provide an overview of this year’s contributions.
Over the past decade, research into artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged from the shadow of a long winter of disregard into a balmy summer of hope and hype. Whilst scholars and advocates have studiously documented the risks and potential harms of deploying AI-based tools and techniques in an array of societal domains, the idea nonetheless persists that the promised power of AI functionally could and ethically should be harnessed for, or at least (re-)oriented towards, ‘socially good’ purposes. The twin aims of this Special Issue, simply stated, are to interrogate the plausibility of this notion and to consider its implications.
I am pleased to say that the special issue of Philosophy & Technology that I guest edited is now available online. In my introduction I discuss the aims of the issue and provide an overview of the rich array of contributions that it includes.