The Ethics of Algorithms: Mapping the Debate

Big Data and Society 3 (2) (2016)

Authors
Patrick Allo
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Luciano Floridi
Oxford University
Abstract
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 understanding of their ethical implications can have severe consequences affecting individuals as well as groups and whole societies. This paper makes three contributions to clarify the ethical importance of algorithmic mediation. It provides a prescriptive map to organise the debate. It reviews the current discussion of ethical aspects of algorithms. And it assesses the available literature in order to identify areas requiring further work to develop the ethics of algorithms.
Keywords ethics  algorithms  computer science  computer ethics  information ethics  law  machine learning
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References found in this work BETA

Truth and Method.H. G. Gadamer - 1975 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 36 (4):487-490.
On the Morality of Artificial Agents.Luciano Floridi & J. W. Sanders - 2004 - Minds and Machines 14 (3):349-379.
The Method of Levels of Abstraction.Luciano Floridi - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (3):303-329.

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Citations of this work BETA

Toward an Ethics of AI Assistants: An Initial Framework.John Danaher - 2018 - Philosophy and Technology 31 (4):629-653.
Democratizing Algorithmic Fairness.Pak-Hang Wong - forthcoming - Philosophy and Technology:1-20.
Agency Laundering and Information Technologies.Alan Rubel, Clinton Castro & Adam Pham - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):1017-1041.

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