Delft University of TechnologyUniversità di Torino
Institute For Ethics And Emerging Technology
  •  792
    A Theory of Everything? (review)
    Cultural Studies Review 24 (2): 184-186. 2018.
    Enter Object-Oriented Ontology: A New Theory of Everything.Eschewing the verbose and often obscurantist tendencies of other philosopher-authors, Harman tackles what might otherwise be a complicated, controversial and counter-intuitive philosophical stance with accessible and easy-to-follow prose. OOO has never been so clear nor so convincingly presented as it is here. Covered in seven chapters, the book gives a genealogical account of OOO, chronicling the reason for its emergence, comparing it t…Read more
  •  568
    The Future of War: The Ethical Potential of Leaving War to Lethal Autonomous Weapons
    with Phil Torres and Angelo F. De Bellis
    AI and Society 35 (1): 273-282. 2020.
    Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWs) are robotic weapons systems, primarily of value to the military, that could engage in offensive or defensive actions without human intervention. This paper assesses and engages the current arguments for and against the use of LAWs through the lens of achieving more ethical warfare. Specific interest is given particularly to ethical LAWs, which are artificially intelligent weapons systems that make decisions within the bounds of their ethics-based code. To ensure …Read more
  •  556
    The Rise of Realism (review)
    International Journal of Actor-Network Theory and Technological Innovation 9 (2): 63-66. 2017.
    A new book by Manuel DeLanda and Graham Harman, The Rise of Realism, is reviewed. The Rise of Realism is an introductory text that aims to clarify the difficulties that surround the philosophical concepts of realism and materialism (as well as their antitheses). This primer intended to introduce students and interested scholars to the concepts and literature on realism and its place in the continental tradition of philosophy and related social theory. The book’s core methodology is to outline th…Read more
  •  505
    This paper argues that although moral intuitions are insufficient for making judgments on new technological innovations, they maintain great utility for informing responsible innovation. To do this, this paper employs the Value Sensitive Design (VSD) methodology as an illustrative example of how stakeholder values can be better distilled to inform responsible innovation. Further, it is argued that moral intuitions are necessary for determining stakeholder values required for the design of respon…Read more
  •  446
    Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People (review)
    Journal of Critical Realism 17 (1): 84-86. 2018.
    A new book by Timothy Morton, Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People, is reviewed. Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People is a project into the applied political ethics that emerge between speculative realism and Marxism. This book is intended to build on the object-oriented ontology that Morton has espoused in previous volumes, however with a greater emphasis on normative politics. The book’s core methodology is to outline the various neologisms that Morton employs and incorporate tho…Read more
  •  443
    Atomically precise manufacturing (APM) is the assembly of materials with atomic precision. APM does not currently exist, and may not be feasible, but if it is feasible, then the societal impacts could be dramatic. This paper assesses the net societal impacts of APM across the full range of important APM sectors: general material wealth, environmental issues, military affairs, surveillance, artificial intelligence, and space travel. Positive effects were found for material wealth, the environment…Read more
  •  385
    A Value-Sensitive Design Approach to Intelligent Agents
    with Angelo Frank De Bellis
    In Roman Yampolskiy (ed.), Artificial Intelligence Safety and Security, Crc Press. pp. 395-410. 2018.
    This chapter proposed a novel design methodology called Value-Sensitive Design and its potential application to the field of artificial intelligence research and design. It discusses the imperatives in adopting a design philosophy that embeds values into the design of artificial agents at the early stages of AI development. Because of the high risk stakes in the unmitigated design of artificial agents, this chapter proposes that even though VSD may turn out to be a less-than-optimal design metho…Read more
  •  334
    Strong arguments have been formulated that the computational limits of disembodied artificial intelligence (AI) will, sooner or later, be a problem that needs to be addressed. Similarly, convincing cases for how embodied forms of AI can exceed these limits makes for worthwhile research avenues. This paper discusses how embodied cognition brings with it other forms of information integration and decision-making consequences that typically involve discussions of machine cognition and similarly, ma…Read more
  •  314
    This paper argues that the Value Sensitive Design (VSD) methodology provides a principled approach to embedding common values in to AI systems both early and throughout the design process. To do so, it draws on an important case study: the evidence and final report of the UK Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence. This empirical investigation shows that the different and often disparate stakeholder groups that are implicated in AI design and use share some common values that can be used to …Read more
  •  313
    Safe-by-Design (SBD) frameworks for the development of emerging technologies have become an ever more popular means by which scholars argue that transformative emerging technologies can safely incorporate human values. One such popular SBD methodology is called Value Sensitive Design (VSD). A central tenet of this design methodology is to investigate stakeholder values and design those values into technologies during early stage research and development (R&D). To accomplish this, the VSD framewo…Read more
  •  300
    Moving to a Posthuman Technosphere (review)
    Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 23 (1): 104-106. 2019.
    A new book by Roberto Marchesini, Tecnosfera, is reviewed. Technosfera serves as an in-depth exploration of the concept of techne and its relation to humanist and posthumanist thought for professionals. The book's core methodology is to explore the geneaological, linguistic and philosophical differences between the humanist and posthumanist concepts of techne and show how the latter is less contentious and favourable. The book is informationally dense, well-argued and academically current, provi…Read more
  •  277
    Safe-by-Design (SBD) frameworks for the development of emerging technologies have become an ever more popular means by which scholars argue that transformative emerging technologies can safely incorporate human values. One such popular SBD methodology is called Value Sensitive Design (VSD). A central tenet of this design methodology is to investigate stakeholder values and design those values into technologies during early stage research and development (R&D). To accomplish this, the VSD framewo…Read more
  •  262
    Both current and past analyses and critiques of transhumanist and posthumanist theories have had a propensity to cite the Greek myth of Prometheus as a paradigmatic figure. Although stark differences exist amongst the token forms of posthumanist theories and transhumanism, both theoretical domains claim promethean theory as their own. There are numerous definitions of those two concepts: therefore, this article focuses on posthumanism thought. By first analyzing the appropriation of the myth in …Read more
  •  256
    Although continued investments in nanotechnology are made, atomically precise manufacturing (APM) to date is still regarded as speculative technology. APM, also known as molecular manufacturing, is a token example of a converging technology, has great potential to impact and be affected by other emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and ICT. The development of APM thus can have drastic global impacts depending on how it is designed and used. This paper argues tha…Read more
  •  234
    This research project aims to accomplish two primary objectives: (1) propose an argument that a posthuman ethics in the design of technologies is sound and thus warranted and, (2) how can existent SBD approaches begin to envision principled and methodological ways of incorporating nonhuman values into design. In order to do this this MRP will provide a rudimentary outline of what constitutes SBD approaches. A particular design approach - Value Sensitive Design (VSD) - is taken up as an illustrat…Read more
  •  233
    Posthumanism: A Fickle Philosophy?
    Con Texte 2 (1): 28-32. 2018.
    Defining posthumanism as a single, well-oriented philosophy is a difficult if not impossible endeavour. Part of the reason for this difficulty is accounted by posthumanism’s illusive origins and its perpetually changing hermeneutics. This short paper gives a brief account of the ecological trend in contemporary posthumanism and provides a short prescription for the future of posthumanist literature and potential research avenues
  •  229
    Value Sensitive Design (VSD) is an established method for integrating values into technical design. It has been applied to different technologies and, more recently, to artificial intelligence (AI). We argue that AI poses a number of challenges specific to VSD that require a somewhat modified VSD approach. Machine learning (ML), in particular, poses two challenges. First, humans may not understand how an AI system learns certain things. This requires paying attention to values such as transparen…Read more
  •  179
    Designing the Smart Operator 4.0 for Human Values: A Value Sensitive Design Approach
    with Antonio Padovano and Lucia Gazzaneo
    Procedia Manufacturing 42 219-226. 2020.
    Emerging technologies such as cloud computing, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robotics, among others, are transforming the field of manufacturing and industry as a whole in unprecedent ways. This fourth industrial revolution is consequentially changing how operators that have been crucial to industry success go about their practices in industrial environments. This short paper briefly introduces the notion of the Operator 4.0 as well as how this novel way of conceptua…Read more
  •  165
    A new book by Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret, "COVID-19: The Great Reset", is reviewed. COVID-19 not only exacerbates social, economic, environmental, cultural and technological trends that already existed pre-pandemic, but also come with emergent and novel ones that may need to be pushed in certain directions to ensure that the fragilities of the pre-pandemic world do not manifest themselves in the future. This book is intended to provide a map of the various arguments and trends of how COVI…Read more
  •  161
    Values, Imagination, and Praxis : Towards a Value Sensitive Future with Technology (review)
    Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (1): 495-499. 2020.
    A new book by Batya Friedman and David G. Hendry, Value Sensitive Design: Shaping Technology with Moral Imagination, is reviewed. Value Sensitive Design is a project into the ethical and design issues that emerge during the engineering programs of new technologies. This book is intended to build on the over two decades of value sensitive design research, however with a greater emphasis on the developments of the theoretical underpinnings of the approach as well as initial steps that designers ca…Read more
  •  143
    Manufacturing and industry practices are undergoing an unprecedented revolution as a consequence of the convergence of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing, virtual and augmented reality, among others. This fourth industrial revolution is similarly changing the practices and capabilities of operators in their industrial environments. This paper introduces and explores the notion of the Operator 4.0 as well as how this novel way of conceptualizing the …Read more
  •  138
    The international debate on the ethics and legality of autonomous weapon systems (AWS), along with the call for a ban, primarily focus on the nebulous concept of fully autonomous AWS. These are AWS capable of target selection and engagement absent human supervision or control. This paper argues that such a conception of autonomy is divorced from both military planning and decision-making operations; it also ignores the design requirements that govern AWS engineering and the subsequent tracking a…Read more
  •  136
    Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Designing War Machines with Values
    Delphi: Interdisciplinary Review of Emerging Technologies 1 (2): 30-34. 2019.
    Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWs) have becomes the subject of continuous debate both at national and international levels. Arguments have been proposed both for the development and use of LAWs as well as their prohibition from combat landscapes. Regardless, the development of LAWs continues in numerous nation-states. This paper builds upon previous philosophical arguments for the development and use of LAWs and proposes a design framework that can be used to ethically direct their development. Th…Read more
  •  118
    Explorative Nanophilosophy as Tecnoscienza: An Italian Perspective on the Role of Speculation in Nanoindustry
    TECNOSCIENZA: Italian Journal of Science and Technology Studies 10 (1): 71-88. 2019.
    There are two primary camps in which nanotechnology today can be categorized normal nanotechnology and speculative nanotechnology. The birth of nanotechnology proper was conceived through discourses of speculative nanotechnology. However, current nanotech-nology research has detracted from its speculative promises in favour of more attainable material products. Nonetheless, normal nanotechnology has leveraged the popular support and consequential funding it needs to conduct research and developm…Read more
  •  112
    Evolution Science and Ethics in the Third Millennium is one of the most lucid academic texts on the subject of evolutionary morality to be published in the last decade. While the book does have some problematic aspects, discussed below, it nonetheless provides what is none other than a comprehensive and rational basis to substantiate the notion that evolutionary science can provide a foundation for the understanding of morality. Cliquet and Avramov take a wholly interdisciplinary approach, encro…Read more
  •  110
    Presentism and Relativity
    The Oxford Philosopher. 2015.
    In this short paper I will be explicating and evaluating the arguments presented by Keller and Nelson in their paper, Presentists Should Believe in Time-Travel. I will show that their presuppositions, which are essential to their arguments, have the potential to devastate their position. We will see that one of these presuppositions comes into conflict with the General Theory of Relativity, and I will demonstrate that this endangers both their own agenda and presentism as a whole.
  •  99
    Designing a Nano-Safe Future
    Solutions Journal 9 (4): 1-3. 2018.
    A short position paper on how we can preemptively anticipate and design nanotechnology-safe futures.
  •  99
    The increasing automation and ubiquity of robotics deployed within the field of care boasts promising advantages. However, challenging ethical issues arise also as a consequence. This paper takes care robots for the elderly as the subject of analysis, building on previous literature in the domain of the ethics and design of care robots. It takes the value sensitive design (VSD) approach to technology design and extends its application to care robots by not only integrating the values of care, bu…Read more
  •  96
    One of the primary, if not most critical, difficulties in the design and implementation of autonomous systems is the black-boxed nature of the decision-making structures and logical pathways. How human values are embodied and actualised in situ may ultimately prove to be harmful if not outright recalcitrant. For this reason, the values of stakeholders become of particular significance given the risks posed by opaque structures of intelligent agents (IAs). This paper explores how decision matrix …Read more
  •  94
    Designing in Ethics (review)
    Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation 35 (1): 160-161. 2019.
    Designing in Ethics provides a compilation of well-curated essays that tackle the ethical issues that surround technological design and argue that ethics must form a constitutive part of the designing process and a foundation in our institutions and practices. The appropriation of a design approach to applied ethics is argued as a means by which ethical issues that implicate technological artifact may be achieved