•  2989
    Digital psychiatry: ethical risks and opportunities for public health and well-being
    with Christopher Burr, Jessica Morley, and Mariarosaria Taddeo
    IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society 1 (1). 2020.
    Common mental health disorders are rising globally, creating a strain on public healthcare systems. This has led to a renewed interest in the role that digital technologies may have for improving mental health outcomes. One result of this interest is the development and use of artificial intelligence for assessing, diagnosing, and treating mental health issues, which we refer to as ‘digital psychiatry’. This article focuses on the increasing use of digital psychiatry outside of clinical settings…Read more
  •  2728
    The ethical debate about the gig economy: a review and critical analysis
    with Zhi Ming Tan, Nikita Aggarwal, Josh Cowls, Jessica Morley, and Mariarosaria Taddeo
    Technology in Society 65 (2): 101954. 2021.
    The gig economy is a phenomenon that is rapidly expanding, redefining the nature of work and contributing to a significant change in how contemporary economies are organised. Its expansion is not unproblematic. This article provides a clear and systematic analysis of the main ethical challenges caused by the gig economy. Following a brief overview of the gig economy, its scope and scale, we map the key ethical problems that it gives rise to, as they are discussed in the relevant literature. We m…Read more
  •  2500
    How to design AI for social good: seven essential factors
    with Josh Cowls, Thomas C. King, and Mariarosaria Taddeo
    Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (3). 2020.
    The idea of artificial intelligence for social good is gaining traction within information societies in general and the AI community in particular. It has the potential to tackle social problems through the development of AI-based solutions. Yet, to date, there is only limited understanding of what makes AI socially good in theory, what counts as AI4SG in practice, and how to reproduce its initial successes in terms of policies. This article addresses this gap by identifying seven ethical factor…Read more
  •  2215
    Healthcare systems across the globe are struggling with increasing costs and worsening outcomes. This presents those responsible for overseeing healthcare with a challenge. Increasingly, policymakers, politicians, clinical entrepreneurs and computer and data scientists argue that a key part of the solution will be ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) – particularly Machine Learning (ML). This argument stems not from the belief that all healthcare needs will soon be taken care of by “robot doctors.” In…Read more
  •  2186
    This article presents the first, systematic analysis of the ethical challenges posed by recommender systems through a literature review. The article identifies six areas of concern, and maps them onto a proposed taxonomy of different kinds of ethical impact. The analysis uncovers a gap in the literature: currently user-centred approaches do not consider the interests of a variety of other stakeholders—as opposed to just the receivers of a recommendation—in assessing the ethical impacts of a reco…Read more
  •  2066
    Establishing the rules for building trustworthy AI
    Nature Machine Intelligence 1 261-262. 2019.
    AI is revolutionizing everyone’s life, and it is crucial that it does so in the right way. AI’s profound and far-reaching potential for transformation concerns the engineering of systems that have some degree of autonomous agency. This is epochal and requires establishing a new, ethical balance between human and artificial autonomy.
  •  2059
    Trusting artificial intelligence in cybersecurity is a double-edged sword
    with Mariarosaria Taddeo and Tom McCutcheon
    Philosophy and Technology 32 (1): 1-15. 2019.
    Applications of artificial intelligence (AI) for cybersecurity tasks are attracting greater attention from the private and the public sectors. Estimates indicate that the market for AI in cybersecurity will grow from US$1 billion in 2016 to a US$34.8 billion net worth by 2025. The latest national cybersecurity and defence strategies of several governments explicitly mention AI capabilities. At the same time, initiatives to define new standards and certification procedures to elicit users’ trust …Read more
  •  2046
    The ethics of algorithms: mapping the debate
    with Brent Mittelstadt, Patrick Allo, Mariarosaria Taddeo, and Sandra Wachter
    Big Data and Society 3 (2). 2016.
    In information societies, operations, decisions and choices previously left to humans are increasingly delegated to algorithms, which may advise, if not decide, about how data should be interpreted and what actions should be taken as a result. More and more often, algorithms mediate social processes, business transactions, governmental decisions, and how we perceive, understand, and interact among ourselves and with the environment. Gaps between the design and operation of algorithms and our und…Read more
  •  1756
    Artificial intelligence and the ‘Good Society’: the US, EU, and UK approach
    with Corinne Cath, Sandra Wachter, Brent Mittelstadt, and Mariarosaria Taddeo
    Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (2): 505-528. 2018.
    In October 2016, the White House, the European Parliament, and the UK House of Commons each issued a report outlining their visions on how to prepare society for the widespread use of artificial intelligence. In this article, we provide a comparative assessment of these three reports in order to facilitate the design of policies favourable to the development of a ‘good AI society’. To do so, we examine how each report addresses the following three topics: the development of a ‘good AI society’; …Read more
  •  1671
    This chapter serves as an introduction to the edited collection of the same name, which includes chapters that explore digital well-being from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including philosophy, psychology, economics, health care, and education. The purpose of this introductory chapter is to provide a short primer on the different disciplinary approaches to the study of well-being. To supplement this primer, we also invited key experts from several disciplines—philosophy, psychology, pub…Read more
  •  1644
    How AI can be a force for good
    Science Magazine 361 (6404): 751-752. 2018.
    This article argues that an ethical framework will help to harness the potential of AI while keeping humans in control.
  •  1495
    A united framework of five principles for AI in society
    with Josh Cowls
    Harvard Data Science Review 1 (1). 2019.
    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already having a major impact on society. As a result, many organizations have launched a wide range of initiatives to establish ethical principles for the adoption of socially beneficial AI. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of proposed principles threatens to overwhelm and confuse. How might this problem of ‘principle proliferation’ be solved? In this paper, we report the results of a fine-grained analysis of several of the highest-profile sets of ethical principl…Read more
  •  1381
    The modern abundance and prominence of data has led to the development of “data science” as a new field of enquiry, along with a body of epistemological reflections upon its foundations, methods, and consequences. This article provides a systematic analysis and critical review of significant open problems and debates in the epistemology of data science. We propose a partition of the epistemology of data science into the following five domains: (i) the constitution of data science; (ii) the kind …Read more
  •  1336
    The ethics of digital well-being: a thematic review
    Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (4). 2020.
    This article presents the first thematic review of the literature on the ethical issues concerning digital well-being. The term ‘digital well-being’ is used to refer to the impact of digital technologies on what it means to live a life that is good for a human being. The review explores the existing literature on the ethics of digital well-being, with the goal of mapping the current debate and identifying open questions for future research. The review identifies major issues related to several k…Read more
  •  943
    On the morality of artificial agents
    Minds and Machines 14 (3): 349-379. 2004.
    Artificial agents (AAs), particularly but not only those in Cyberspace, extend the class of entities that can be involved in moral situations. For they can be conceived of as moral patients (as entities that can be acted upon for good or evil) and also as moral agents (as entities that can perform actions, again for good or evil). In this paper, we clarify the concept of agent and go on to separate the concerns of morality and responsibility of agents (most interestingly for us, of AAs). We conc…Read more
  •  906
    The ethics of information transparency
    Ethics and Information Technology 11 (2): 105-112. 2009.
    The paper investigates the ethics of information transparency (henceforth transparency). It argues that transparency is not an ethical principle in itself but a pro-ethical condition for enabling or impairing other ethical practices or principles. A new definition of transparency is offered in order to take into account the dynamics of information production and the differences between data and information. It is then argued that the proposed definition provides a better understanding of what so…Read more
  •  871
    Two approaches to the philosophy of information
    Minds and Machines 13 (4): 459-469. 2003.
    This paper outlines and discusses the relative merits and problems of two current interpretations of Philosophy of Information (PI), the metaphysical approach and the analytical approach. The paper argues that both approaches complement one another, being normative and mutually compatible.
  •  869
    Information ethics, its nature and scope
    Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 36 (2): 21-36. 2006.
    In recent years, “Information Ethics” (IE) has come to mean different things to different researchers working in a variety of disciplines, including computer ethics, business ethics, medical ethics, computer science, the philosophy of information, social epistemology and library and information science. Using an ontocentric approach, this paper seeks to define the parameters of IE and thereby increase our understanding of the moral challenges associated with Information Communication Technologie…Read more
  •  864
    In this article we analyse the role that artificial intelligence (AI) could play, and is playing, to combat global climate change. We identify two crucial opportunities that AI offers in this domain: it can help improve and expand current understanding of climate change and it contribute to combating the climate crisis effectively. However, the development of AI also raises two sets of problems when considering climate change: the possible exacerbation of social and ethical challenges alread…Read more
  •  805
    Accountability in Artificial Intelligence: What It Is and How It Works
    Ai and Society: Knowledge, Culture and Communication 1-12. forthcoming.
    Accountability is a cornerstone of the governance of artificial intelligence (AI). However, it is often defined too imprecisely because its multifaceted nature and the sociotechnical structure of AI systems imply a variety of values, practices, and measures to which accountability in AI can refer. We address this lack of clarity by defining accountability in terms of answerability, identifying three conditions of possibility (authority recognition, interrogation, and limitation of power), and an…Read more
  •  675
    What is a philosophical question?
    Metaphilosophy 44 (3): 195-221. 2013.
    There are many ways of understanding the nature of philosophical questions. One may consider their morphology, semantics, relevance, or scope. This article introduces a different approach, based on the kind of informational resources required to answer them. The result is a definition of philosophical questions as questions whose answers are in principle open to informed, rational, and honest disagreement, ultimate but not absolute, closed under further questioning, possibly constrained by empir…Read more
  •  661
    This article analyses the ethical aspects of multistakeholder recommendation systems (RSs). Following the most common approach in the literature, we assume a consequentialist framework to introduce the main concepts of multistakeholder recommendation. We then consider three research questions: who are the stakeholders in a RS? How are their interests taken into account when formulating a recommendation? And, what is the scientific paradigm underlying RSs? Our main finding is that multistakeholde…Read more
  •  660
    "The right to be forgotten": a philosophical view
    Jahrbuch Für Recht Und Ethik / Annual Review of Law and Ethics 23 163-179. 2015.
    The “Right to be forgotten” lies at the heart of the infosphere debate. It embodies how mature information societies cope and deal with their memories. As such, it has become a defining issue of our time. Drawing on the author’s experience as a member of the Google Advisory panel, this paper discusses some of the salient points of the “Right to be forgotten” discourse, including: privacy vs. freedom of speech and availability vs. accessibility of information. It argues that, while there should b…Read more
  •  656
    The paper analyses six ethical challenges posed by cloud computing, concerning ownership, safety, fairness, responsibility, accountability and privacy. The first part defines cloud computing on the basis of a resource-oriented approach, and outlines the main features that characterise such technology. Following these clarifications, the second part argues that cloud computing reshapes some classic problems often debated in information and computer ethics. To begin with, cloud computing makes pos…Read more
  •  644
    The method of levels of abstraction
    Minds and Machines 18 (3). 2008.
    The use of “levels of abstraction” in philosophical analysis (levelism) has recently come under attack. In this paper, I argue that a refined version of epistemological levelism should be retained as a fundamental method, called the method of levels of abstraction. After a brief introduction, in section “Some Definitions and Preliminary Examples” the nature and applicability of the epistemological method of levels of abstraction is clarified. In section “A Classic Application of the Method ofion…Read more
  •  640
    The ethics of algorithms: key problems and solutions
    with Andreas Tsamados, Nikita Aggarwal, Josh Cowls, Jessica Morley, Huw Roberts, and Mariarosaria Taddeo
    AI and Society. 2021.
    Research on the ethics of algorithms has grown substantially over the past decade. Alongside the exponential development and application of machine learning algorithms, new ethical problems and solutions relating to their ubiquitous use in society have been proposed. This article builds on a review of the ethics of algorithms published in 2016, 2016). The goals are to contribute to the debate on the identification and analysis of the ethical implications of algorithms, to provide an updated anal…Read more
  •  623
    What is the philosophy of information?
    Metaphilosophy 33 (1-2). 2002.
    Computational and information-theoretic research in philosophy has become increasingly fertile and pervasive, giving rise to a wealth of interesting results. In consequence, a new and vitally important field has emerged, the philosophy of information (PI). This essay is the first attempt to analyse the nature of PI systematically. PI is defined as the philosophical field concerned with the critical investigation of the conceptual nature and basic principles of information, including its dynamics…Read more
  •  617
    This paper analyses the relations between philosophy of information (PI), library and information science (LIS) and social epistemology (SE). In the first section, it is argued that there is a natural relation between philosophy and LIS but that SE cannot provide a satisfactory foundation for LIS. SE should rather be seen as sharing with LIS a common ground, represented by the study of information, to be investigated by a new discipline, PI. In the second section, the nature of PI is outlined as…Read more
  •  584
    Distributed morality in an information society
    Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (3): 727-743. 2013.
    The phenomenon of distributed knowledge is well-known in epistemic logic. In this paper, a similar phenomenon in ethics, somewhat neglected so far, is investigated, namely distributed morality. The article explains the nature of distributed morality, as a feature of moral agency, and explores the implications of its occurrence in advanced information societies. In the course of the analysis, the concept of infraethics is introduced, in order to refer to the ensemble of moral enablers, which, alt…Read more