Responsible Epistemic Technologies: A Social-Epistemological Analysis of Autocompleted Web Search

New Media and Society 19 (12):1945-1963 (2017)

Authors
Isaac Record
Michigan State University
Boaz Miller
Zefat Academic College
Abstract
Information providing and gathering increasingly involve technologies like search ‎engines, which actively shape their epistemic surroundings. Yet, a satisfying account ‎of the epistemic responsibilities associated with them does not exist. We analyze ‎automatically generated search suggestions from the perspective of social ‎epistemology to illustrate how epistemic responsibilities associated with a ‎technology can be derived and assigned. Drawing on our previously developed ‎theoretical framework that connects responsible epistemic behavior to ‎practicability, we address two questions: first, given the different technological ‎possibilities available to searchers, the search technology, and search providers, ‎who should bear which responsibilities? Second, given the technology’s ‎epistemically relevant features and potential harms, how should search terms be ‎autocompleted? Our analysis reveals that epistemic responsibility lies mostly with ‎search providers, which should eliminate three categories of autosuggestions: those ‎that result from organized attacks, those that perpetuate damaging stereotypes, and ‎those that associate negative characteristics with specific individuals.‎.
Keywords autocomplete‎  autosuggestions‎  search engines  epistemic responsibility  social epistemology  knowledge  Internet
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References found in this work BETA

The Fate of Knowledge.Helen Longino - 2002 - Princeton University Press.
On the Morality of Artificial Agents.Luciano Floridi & J. W. Sanders - 2004 - Minds and Machines 14 (3):349-379.

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Citations of this work BETA

Technological Seduction and Self-Radicalization.Mark Alfano, Joseph Adam Carter & Marc Cheong - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (3):298-322.
Where Are Virtues?Joshua August Skorburg - 2018 - Philosophical Studies:1-19.

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