• Talking to Robots
    On the Linguistic Construction of Personal Human-Robot Relations. 2011.
    How should we make sense of 'personal' human-robot relations, given that many people view robots as 'mere machines'? This paper proposes that we understand human-robot relations from a phenomenological view as social relations in which robots are constructed as quasi-others. It is argued that language mediates in this construction. Responding to research by Turkle and others, it is shown that our talking to robots reveals a shift from an impersonal third-person to a personal second-person perspe…Read more
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    The public thing
    Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 13 (3): 175-181. 2009.
    Is there a politics of artifacts, and if so, what does it mean? Defining the issue as a problem about the relation between the human and the non-human, I argue that our common philosophical concepts bar us from an adequate understanding of this problem. Using the work of Hannah Arendt and Bruno Latour, I explore an escape route that involves a radical redefinition of the social. But the cost of this solution is high: we would lose the metaphysical foundation for our belief in the absolute value …Read more
  • How to Build a Supervised Autonomous System for Robot-Enhanced Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
    with Pablo G. Esteban, Paul Baxter, Tony Belpaeme, Erik Billing, Haibin Cai, Hoang-Long Cao, Cristina Costescu, Daniel David, Albert De Beir, Yinfeng Fang, Zhaojie Ju, James Kennedy, Honghai Liu, Alexandre Mazel, Amit Pandey, Kathleen Richardson, Emmanuel Senft, Serge Thill, Greet Van de Perre, Bram Vanderborght, David Vernon, Hui Yu, and Tom Ziemke
    Paladyn : Journal of Behavioral Robotics 8 (1): 18-38. 2017.
    Robot-Assisted Therapy has successfully been used to improve social skills in children with autism spectrum disorders through remote control of the robot in so-calledWizard of Oz paradigms.However, there is a need to increase the autonomy of the robotboth to lighten the burden on human therapists and to provide a consistent therapeutic experience. This paper seeks to provide insight into increasing the autonomy level of social robots in therapy to move beyond WoZ. With the final aim of improved …Read more
  •  3
    In Contemporary Ethical Issues in Engineering, Engineering Science Reference. pp. 274-276. 2015.
  •  8
    Regulation or responsibility?
    Science, Technology and Human Values 31 (3): 237-260. 2006.
    A prima facie analysis suggests that there are essentially two, mutually exclusive, ways in which risk arising from engineering design can be managed: by imposing external constraints on engineers or by engendering their feelings of responsibility and respect their autonomy. The author discusses the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches. However, he then shows that this opposition is a false one and that there is no simple relation between regulation and autonomy. Furthermore, the auth…Read more
  • Is gesture knowledge?
    with Michael Funk
    In Moving Imagination, John Benjamins. pp. 113-131. 2013.
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    Humans, Animals, and Robots
    International Journal of Social Robotics 3 (2): 197-204. 2011.
    This paper argues that our understanding of many human-robot relations can be enhanced by comparisons with human-animal relations and by a phenomenological approach which highlights the significance of how robots appear to humans. Some potential gains of this approach are explored by discussing the concept of alterity, diversity and change in human-robot relations, Heidegger's claim that animals are 'poor in world', and the issue of robot-animal relations. These philosophical reflections result …Read more
  •  8
    Computer games, education, and the good life
    In Educational Games, Nova Science Publishers. pp. 323-329. 2010.
    Given the popularity of computer gaming and the educational and ethical problems they raise, we need a way of evaluating games. We should be concerned with particular games but also with games as a medium. We need normative criteria that allow us to judge to what extent the medium and the messages meet educational and ethical standards. This can inform the design, regulation, and practice of computer gaming. This chapter contributes to this task by articulating the epistemic, moral, and ethical …Read more
  • Usually contemporary technology is understood to belong to secular modernity. But how ‚secular‘ and ‚modern‘ are our technological practices and culture? In this essay I argue that if we want to better understand technology, thinking in terms of a rupture between modernity and pre-modernity is inadequate. I show that Judeo-Christian forms of thinking still pervade modern technological visions and could help us think about what I call the ‚delegated spirituality‘ of the artefact, but that our enc…Read more
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    From computer ethics to responsible research and innovation in ICT
    with Bernd Carsten Stahl, Grace Eden, and Marina Jirotka
    Information and Management 51 (6): 810-818. 2014.
    The discourse concerning computer ethics qualifies as a reference discourse for ethics-related IS research. Theories, topics and approaches of computer ethics are reflected in IS. The paper argues that there is currently a broader development in the area of research governance, which is referred to as 'responsible research and innovation'. RRI applied to information and communication technology addresses some of the limitations of computer ethics and points toward a broader approach to the gover…Read more
  •  1
    Hacking Technological Practices and the Vulnerability of the Modern Hero
    Foundations of Science 22 (2): 357-362. 2017.
    This reply to Gunkel and Zwart further reflects on, and responds to, the following main points: the Heideggerian character of my view and the potential link to Kafka, the suggestion that we should become hackers, the interpretation of my approach in terms of the Hegelian Master–Slave dialectic, the lack of an empirical dimension, and the claim that I think that modern heroism entails overcoming vulnerability. I acknowledge Heideggerian influence, reflect on what it could mean to think about livi…Read more
  •  8
    From killer machines to doctrines and swarms
    Philosophy and Technology 24 (3): 269-278. 2011.
    Ethical reflections on military robotics can be enriched by a better understanding of the nature and role of these technologies and by putting robotics into context in various ways. Discussing a range of ethical questions, this paper challenges the prevalent assumptions that military robotics is about military technology as a mere means to an end, about single killer machines, and about “military” developments. It recommends that ethics of robotics attend to how military technology changes our a…Read more
  •  14
    Are Emotional Robots Deceptive?
    IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing 3 (4): 388-393. 2012.
    A common objection to the use and development of "emotional" robots is that they are deceptive. This intuitive response assumes 1) that these robots intend to deceive, 2) that their emotions are not real, and 3) that they pretend to be a kind of entity they are not. We use these criteria to judge if an entity is deceptive in emotional communication. They can also be regarded as "ideal emotional communication" conditions that saliently operate as presuppositions in our communications with other e…Read more
  •  3
    Vulnerability and imagination in the Snorre a gas blowout and recovery
    with Ger Wackers
    World Oil 229 (1): 33-41. 2008.
    The safety-critical work in the field of business performance optimization has created the conditions that led to a near-disastrous subsea rupture in 2004 during a slot recovery operation. The successful recovery depended on the imaginative capabilities of the platform crew in trying to decide the courses of action. Statoil lost control of a well on the Snorre A TLP on the Norwegian Continental Shelf but the platform did not ignite. Followed by the safety procedures, oil production was shut down…Read more
  • Risk analysis and risk management are ways for humans to cope with natural disaster risk. This chapter connects discussions about risk with reflections on nature, technology, vulnerability, and modernity. In particular, it raises questions regarding the natural/human distinction and how human societies and cultures cope with risk. How “natural” are hazards, given human interventions inand interpretations of events, and what are the limitations of “objective” modernapproaches to risk? The chapter…Read more
  •  3
  • Wider den Transhumanismus
    with Georg Franck, Sarah Spiekermann, Peter Hampson, Charles M. Ess, and Johannes Hoff
    Neue Zürcher Zeitung. forthcoming.
    Mit der Entwicklung von Gen-, Nanotechnologie und Neurotechnolgie bekommt die Menschheit mehr und mehr die Mittel in die Hand, sich in Eigenregie evolutionär weiterzuentwickeln. Das ist gefährlich.
  •  2
    Philosophy: Technology is composed of fifteen chapters covering such topics as cyber warfare, designing children, video games and virtual reality, nanotechnology, and technology and the environment. The use of film, literature, art, case studies, and other disciplines or situations/events provide illustrations of human experiences which work as gateways to questions philosophers try to address. Chapters are written by eminent scholars, are peer reviewed, and offer bibliographies to encourage fur…Read more
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    Drones, Morality, and Vulnerability
    In The Future of Drone Use, T.m.c. Asser Press. pp. 229-237. 2016.
    This chapter articulates and discusses several arguments against the lethal use of unmanned aerial vehicles, often called drones. A distinction is made between targeted killing, killing at a distance, and automated killing, which is used to map the arguments against lethal drones. After considering issues concerning thejustification of war, the argument that targeted killing makes it easier to start a war, and the argument that killing at a distance is problematic, this chapter focuses on two ar…Read more
  • Automatisierungstechnik, Social Media und Smartphones beeinflussen nicht nur unseren Alltag, sondern verändern auch die Art und Weise, wie wir denken.
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    Should we ban fully autonomous weapons?
    Uni:View Magazin. 2018.
    Is it justified at all that a machine kills people, or takes decisions about life and death? Philosopher Mark Coeckelbergh argues in his guest article for uni:view why the use of fully autonomous weapons is ethically highly problematic.Weapon systems become more and more autonomous. This means that they can take decisions without human intervention. Sometimes human operators can still override the decision or are still "in the loop": they are still involved in the decision. But as the technology…Read more
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    Contemporary philosophy of technology, in particular mediation theory, has largely neglected language and has paid little attention to the social-linguistic environment in which technologies are used. In order to reintroduce and strengthen these two missing aspects we turn towards Ricoeur’s narrative theory. We argue that technologies have a narrative capacity: not only do humans make sense of technologies by means of narratives but technologies themselves co-constitute narratives and our unders…Read more
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    Alterity ex Machina
    In The Changing Face of Alterity, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 181-196. 2016.
  •  6
    Technology is transforming global finance today in many ways. Designing and using alternative financial technologies may contribute to building a financially and ethically sustainable future.