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Ethics and Philosophy of Information

Ethics and Philosophy of Information

Information is the fundamental component of the technological advances that characterise our time. Increasing technological interactions between people, organisations, and artefacts generate, transmit, and process immense quantities of data about the social and physical world at an unprecedented rate and scale.

We are investigating the conceptual aspects of such radical transformations of reality brought about by this information revolution.

Featured Research

With new technologies shaping and being shaped by society, it’s important that we encourage beneficial developments whilst not losing sight of the essential rights and values upon which democratic societies are built.

Professor Sandra Wachter
Professor of Technology and Regulation

Governance of Emerging Technologies

New technologies shape, and are shaped by, society. In choosing how to govern emerging technologies, we must encourage beneficial developments while not losing sight of the essential rights and values upon which democratic societies are built. International debate on the legal and ethical governance of AI and other emerging technologies increasingly recognises the need for an interdisciplinary approach, most commonly thought to require expertise in law, ethics, and computer science or machine learning at a minimum.

Within GET we investigate how to design, deploy, and govern the new technologies that pose novel challenges across law, philosophy, computer science, and related disciplines. Our research projects include issues such as data protection and inferential analytics, algorithmic bias, fairness, diversity and non-discrimination as well as explainable and accountable AI. These are areas where interdisciplinary thinking is pivotal.

This project, led by OII researchers including a legal scholar, ethicist, and machine learning specialist, takes a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to governance to investigate what:

  1. is legally required;
  2. to shed light on what is ethically desired, and;
  3. to propose solutions that are technically feasible.

So far, articles from this project have been published in a diverse set of journals, including Nature Machine Learning, Columbia Business Law Review, and International Data Privacy Law.

Latest Books

Academic Spotlight

Professor Luciano Floridi is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the OII, as well as the Director of the Digital Ethics Lab. He is also Distinguished Research Fellow of the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics of the Faculty of Philosophy, and Research Associate and Fellow in Information Policy of the Department of Computer Science.

His research concerns primarily Information and Computer Ethics (aka Digital Ethics), the Philosophy of Information, and the Philosophy of Technology. Other research interests include Epistemology, Philosophy of Logic, and the History and Philosophy of Scepticism. He has published over 50 papers in these areas, in many anthologies and peer-reviewed journals. His works have been translated into many languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

His books include a series of books on the foundations of the philosophy of information published by Oxford University Press, most recently including ‘The Logic of Information’ (2019). At the OII, he has worked on a number of projects, including a John Fell Fund supported investigation into the ethics of biomedical big data. He teaches on the ‘The Philosophy and Ethics of Information’ course, as part of the OII’s MSc in the Social Science of the Internet.