The algorithms of ethics. (And puppycats)

I’m trying to remember when I first heard the phrase ‘the ethics of algorithms’ (TEoA) and why it bothers me. It sounded like something from a branding exercise triumph.TEoA has dogged me; it has been the intellectual equivalent of an adorable little puppy that snaps at your ankles in encouragement to play, and then opens […]

A crisis of ethics in quantified environments

On Friday, October 30th, I presented my new doctoral work to a small group of scholars and engaged political people who came together for an evening event around CIHR’s Fellows’ Day. This post is a summary of some of the ideas discussed there. * Every time someone says “but what about the ethics of…” they’re […]

IA: Intelligent Assistants

There is a conference on ‘intelligent assistants’ that will take place in New York in October. Here are some others: “almost human-like” “Hi, I’m Nina, your virtual assistant. Please ask me your questions about our product, Nuance” “Amy” “Smarter than Siri” Of course all personal assistants are women, always eager to help you.


  “a group of more than one hundred Silicon Valley luminaries, led by Tesla’s Elon Musk, and scientists, including the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, issued a call to conscience for those working on automation’s holy grail, artificial intelligence, lest they, in Musk’s words, “summon the demon.” I know it’s only a figure of speech, but […]