Ethics and Information Technology 2010 (12):343-355 (2010)
In this paper I use philosophical accounts on the relationship between trust and knowledge in science to apprehend this relationship on the Web. I argue that trust and knowledge are fundamentally entangled in our epistemic practices. Yet despite this fundamental entanglement, we do not trust blindly. Instead we make use of knowledge to rationally place or withdraw trust. We use knowledge about the sources of epistemic content as well as general background knowledge to assess epistemic claims. Hence, although we may have a default to trust, we remain and should remain epistemically vigilant; we look out and need to look out for signs of insincerity and dishonesty in our attempts to know. A fundamental requirement for such vigilance is transparency: in order to critically assess epistemic agents, content and processes, we need to be able to access and address them. On the Web, this request for transparency becomes particularly pressing if (a) trust is placed in unknown human epistemic agents and (b) if it is placed in non-human agents, such as algorithms. I give examples of the entanglement between knowledge and trust on the Web and draw conclusions about the forms of transparency needed in such systems to support epistemically vigilant behaviour, which empowers users to become responsible and accountable knowers
|Keywords||Knowledge Recommender systems Trust Wikipedia Web Algorithmic authority Epistemic practices Socio-technical epistemic systems|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
The Advancement of Science: Science Without Legend, Objectivity Without Illusions.Philip Kitcher - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences.Geoffrey C. Bowker & Susan Leigh Star - 2001 - Journal of the History of Biology 34 (1):212-214.
Critical Notice: Telling and Trusting: Reductionism and Anti-Reductionism in the Epistemology of Testimony.Elizabeth Fricker - 1995 - Mind 104 (414):393-411.
Citations of this work BETA
Trustworthiness and Truth: The Epistemic Pitfalls of Internet Accountability.Karen Frost-Arnold - 2014 - Episteme 11 (1):63-81.
Justified Belief in a Digital Age: On the Epistemic Implications of Secret Internet Technologies.Boaz Miller & Isaac Record - 2013 - Episteme 10 (02):117 - 134.
Open Source Production of Encyclopedias: Editorial Policies at the Intersection of Organizational and Epistemological Trust.Paul B. de Laat - 2012 - Social Epistemology 26 (1):71-103.
This “Ethical Trap” Is for Roboticists, Not Robots: On the Issue of Artificial Agent Ethical Decision-Making.Keith W. Miller, Marty J. Wolf & Frances Grodzinsky - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (2):389-401.
Levels of Trust in the Context of Machine Ethics.Herman T. Tavani - 2015 - Philosophy and Technology 28 (1):75-90.
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