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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"The International Center for Information Ethics?"

Gradually trying to start moving on after losing my daughter. The house is now quiet and empty except for Cheryl and I, after a crazy busy week.

Got a new (promptly reciprocated) Twitter Follow:

Given that my grad degree is in "Ethics and Policy Studies" (an interdisciplinary mashup of PolySci, Econ, applied Philosophy, and Jurisprudence, etc), I am innately attracted to this area. I joined. We shall see.
The International Center for Information Ethics (ICIE) is an academic community dedicated to the advancement of the field of information ethics. It offers a platform for an intercultural exchange of ideas and information regarding worldwide teaching and research in the field. ICIE provides an opportunity for community and for collaboration between colleagues practicing and teaching in the field. It provides news regarding ongoing activities by various organizations involved in the shared goals of information ethics…

Digital Ethics concerns itself with human and digital interactions, including decisions made by humans while interacting with the digital, as well as those decisions made by the digital interacting with humans. Digital Ethics includes, in order of appearance into the field, Computer Ethics, Cyberethics, and AIethics. It places a focus on ethical issues pertaining to such things as software reliability and honesty, artificial intelligence, computer crime, digital transparency and e-commerce. The origins of Digital Ethics are found in the adoption of ethical concerns into Computer Science, as influenced by Norbert Wiener's 1948 Cybernetics.

Media Ethics concerns itself with ethical practice in journalism and information dissemination, and includes issues as diverse as conflicts of interest, source transparency, fairness, fake news, and information accuracy. It aims to represent the best interests of the public through impartiality and balance, recognizing and addressing bias, and strives to respect individual privacy while demanding corporate and government transperency. Media Ethics makes explicit that journalism and media play a large part in shaping worldviews in society and as such demands a responsibility and personal commitment on the part of the journalist.

Alongside ethical considerations for Computer Science, the field of Information Ethics was first encapsulated under the ethical practices of Libraries and Information Science in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Library Ethics focuses on issues of privacy, censorship, access to information, intellectual freedom and social responsibility. It addresses copyright, fair use, and best practices for collection development. While Library Ethics originates, in the professional sense, in 19th-century librarianship, it finds its origins in a tradition of information ethics that stretches back to ancient Greece.

Intercultural Information Ethics considers perspectives on information dissemination, ICTs and digital culture from the point of view of both globalization and localization. It provides an account of information culture as originating from all cultures, envisaged through comparative philosophies such as Buddhist and western-influenced information ethics traditions to African Ubuntu and Japanese Shinto ethics traditions in ICTs. In its applied sense, Intercultural Information Ethics strives to move beyond the presumed biases of western and greek-influenced ethical foundations for the field of Information Ethics to include globally diverse information ethics traditions. Philosophically, it endeavors to bridge a notable chasm in the field of information ethics, namely the foundational divide between information ecology and hermeneutics.

Bioinformation Ethics explores issues of information pertaining to technologies in the field of biology and medicine. Traditional concerns in Bioethics such as abortion, organ donation, euthanasia, and cloning form the basis of Bioinfomation Ethics, but are supplemented by questions regarding the influence of digital and information & communication technologies. Bioinformation Ethics addresses rights to biological identity, the use of DNA and fingerprints, the dissemination of biomedical information and equal rights to insurance and bank loans based on genetics.

Business Information Ethics is the convergence of two separate fields of applied ethics, those being Information Ethics and Business Ethics. Business Information Ethics addresses informational considerations of the dissemination of goods and services, including information as a commodity, and provides ethical guidance in the analysis of the use of goods and services, including discourse on the impact they have on society. Business Information Ethics also addresses concerns for journal and information management, and includes the subfield of Organisational Information Ethics, as represented by the Centre for Business Information Ethics (CBIE).

“An important aspect of today's understanding of Ethics concerns issues of individual and social responsibility with regard to the impact of our choices in light of the influence of science and technology. While information and communication technologies open doors to new technological and scientific possibilities, they also act as a catalyst to an unprecedented encounter with otherness, ensuring through digital mediums the en masse collision of hitherto closed ethical systems and cultural worldviews."
-- Rafael Capurro
Yeah. It resonates.

apropos, see my prior post "Artificial intelligence and ethics." See also "The old internet of data, the new internet of things and "Big Data," and the evolving internet of YOU."

Stay tuned.


Also trying to get back on pace with my reading. I'm buried. Just a couple of new ones (I have about a dozen piled up):

I've had a good recurrent go at the massive fraud of Theranos (John Carreyrou's topic in his newly released book). Thus far a compelling "page turner." They've probably already sold movie rights.

More on Michael Pollan and Judea Pearl.

Three others I've recently started:


BTW, speaking of "AI" and "Ethics," see
How the Enlightenment Ends
Philosophically, intellectually—in every way—human society is unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.
Henry Kissinger, no less.
...If AI learns exponentially faster than humans, we must expect it to accelerate, also exponentially, the trial-and-error process by which human decisions are generally made: to make mistakes faster and of greater magnitude than humans do. It may be impossible to temper those mistakes, as researchers in AI often suggest, by including in a program caveats requiring “ethical” or “reasonable” outcomes. Entire academic disciplines have arisen out of humanity’s inability to agree upon how to define these terms. Should AI therefore become their arbiter?...
Yeah. One of my grad school profs observed one day that "it is often erroneously claimed that the Nazis 'had no ethics.' They most certainly did -- an aggressive ethos of murderous elimination."


A fashionable (overhyped?) area of AI of late is "NLP" (Natural Language Processing). Within that topical area is the subfield "NLU" (Natural Language Understanding). Notwithstanding its obvious extant (if circumscribed) utility -- e.g., "Siri" --, I have concerns. See my prior post "Assuming / Despite / If / Then / Therefore / Else..." Could AI do "argument analysis?"

It seems rather obvious to me that one foundational element of "Information Ethics" is that of the accuracy of information (in particular information comprising "arguments") -- i.e. rationality in pursuit of truths. If you don't have that, all you have is "noise."

I'd be rather skeptical of trying to sanguinely delegate such tasks to "NLU."

More to come...

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