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    Threats to Autonomy from Emerging ICT’s

    Dainow, Brandt (2018) Threats to Autonomy from Emerging ICT’s. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This thesis investigates possible future threats to human autonomy created by currently emerging ICT’s. Prepared for evaluation as PhD by Publication, it consists of four journal papers and one book chapter, together with explanatory material. The ICT’s under examination are drawn from the results of the ETICA project, which sought to identify emerging ICT’s of ethical import. We first evaluate this research and identify elements in need of enhancement – the social aspects pertaining to ethical impact and the need to introduce elements of General Systems Theory in order to account for ICT’s as socio-technical systems. The first two publications for evaluation present arguments from marxist and capitalist perspectives which provide an account of the social dimensions through which an ICT can reduce human autonomy. There are many competing accounts of what constitutes human autonomy. These may be grouped into classes by their primary characteristics. The third publication for evaluation cross-references these classes with the ICT’s identified by the ETICA project, showing which version of autonomy could be restricted by each ICT and how. Finally, this paper induces from this analysis some general characteristics which any ICT must exhibit if it is to restrict autonomy of any form. Since ICT’s all operate in the same environment, the ultimate effect on the individual is the aggregated effect of all those ICT’s with which they interact and can be treated as an open system. Our fourth paper for evaluation therefore develops a theory of ICT’s as systems of a socio-technical nature, titled “Integrated Domain Theory”. Our fifth publication uses Integrated Domain Theory to explore the manner in which sociotechnical systems can restrict human autonomy, no matter how conceived. This thesis thus offers two complementary answers to the primary research question.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Autonomy; Emerging; ICT’s;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Computer Science
    Item ID: 10852
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2019 11:31

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