Volume 24, 2022
Thinking the Anthropocene Debate with Merleau-Ponty
Luca Fabbris, Cinzia Orlando
The expression “ecological threat” refers to a dynamic of double intrusion: the intrusion of geological history in human history (the intrusion of Gaia) and the intrusion of human history in geological history (the Anthropocene). This double intrusion is founded on a series of major partitions (culture/nature; society/environment) that do not allow for the possibility of communication between the terms of these dichotomies unless it is in the form of reciprocal violation. In the article, the ontology of the flesh is used in order to think the intrusion in a different way compared to the great partitions. Within a chiasmatic logic, the terms of each dichotomy are understood as inseparable moments of the same flesh which institutes a difference – inside/outside – through an infinite movement of folding and torsion. By thinking this common element, Merleau-Ponty’s ontology of the flesh enters in dialogue with Amerindian mythocosmologies of the “first Anthropocene.” In these mythocosmologies, a humanity-flesh – understood as a transformative, pre-individual, and metastable potential – gives birth, through differentiation, to the multiple points of view that populate the cosmos. This dialogue allows us to think about the socialization of Gaia and to trace the contours of a general ecology understood as a thought that operates between – or beyond – major partitions.
27 gennaio 2023
Zeki Can Seskir, Steven Umbrello, Christopher Coenen and Pieter Vermaas
As quantum technologies (QT) advance, their potential impact on and relation with society has been developing into an important issue for exploration. In this paper, we investigate the topic of democratization in the context of QT, particularly quantum computing.
The paper contains three main sections. First, we briefly introduce different theories of democracy (participatory, representative, and deliberative) and how the concept of democratization can be formulated with respect to whether democracy is taken as an intrinsic or instrumental value. Second, we give an overview of how the concept of democratization is used in the QT field. Democratization is mainly adopted by companies working on quantum computing and used in a very narrow understanding of the concept. Third, we explore various narratives and counter-narratives concerning democratization in QT. Finally, we explore the general efforts of democratization in QT such as different forms of access, formation of grassroot communities and special interest groups, the emerging culture of manifesto writing, and how these can be located within the different theories of democracy. In conclusion, we argue that although the ongoing efforts in the democratization of QT are necessary steps towards the democratization of this set of emerging technologies, they should not be accepted as sufficient to argue that QT is a democratized field. We argue that more reflexivity and responsiveness regarding the narratives and actions adopted by the actors in the QT field and making the underlying assumptions of ongoing efforts on democratization of QT explicit, can result in a better technology for society. [continua...]
Vincenzo Crupi, Martina Calderisi, Stefania Pighin, Katya Tentori
With the Covid-19 pandemic, an unprecedented amount of scientific notions and data have reached the public arena on a global scale over a relatively short timeframe. We discuss this phenomenon as concerns probabilistic reasoning. As it turns out, the study of the logic and psychology of uncertain inference provides insight into puzzling developments in the understanding and management of the Covid-19 crisis. We illustrate the point with three examples: diagnostic tests and the base-rate fallacy; vaccine efficacy and its interpretation; and the Simpson paradox in real-world Covid-19 figures [maggiori informazioni]
Genetic engineering technologies are a subclass of the biotechnology family, and are concerned with the use of laboratory-based technologies to intervene with a given organism at the genetic level, i.e., the level of its DNA. This class of technologies could feasibly be used to treat diseases and disabilities, create disease-resistant crops, or even be used to enhance humans to make them more resistant to certain environmental conditions. ... [continua a leggere]
This OA book explores ethically designed technologies after COVID-19 shows how resilience can be bolstered by ethical approaches to technology.
Assembles experts on ethics and technology following the COVID-19 pandemic shows comprehensive engineering integrating designs of data-driven COVID-technologies with socio-technical systems.
Autonomous weapons systems, often referred to as ‘killer robots’, have been a hallmark of popular imagination for decades. However, with the inexorable advance of artificial intelligence systems (AI) and robotics, killer robots are quickly becoming a reality. [continua a leggere]
The Role of Engineers in Harmonising Human Values for AI Systems Design
Journal of Responsible Technology, Volume 10, July 2022, 100031
Most engineers Fwork within social structures governing and governed by a set of values that primarily emphasise economic concerns. The majority of innovations derive from these loci. Given the effects of these innovations on various communities, it is imperative that the values they embody are aligned with those societies. Like other transformative technologies, artificial intelligence systems can be designed by a single organisation but be diffused globally, demonstrating impacts over time. This paper argues that in order to design for this broad stakeholder group, engineers must adopt a systems thinking approach that allows them to understand the sociotechnicity of artificial intelligence systems across sociocultural domains. It claims that value sensitive design, and envisioning cards in particular, provides a solid first step towards helping designers harmonise human values, understood across spatiotemporal boundaries, with economic values, rather than the former coming at the opportunity cost of the latter.