Digital media ethics: beyond the actor network
Stina Bengtsson, Södertörn University
The governance of algorithms in everyday life as well as the rapid emergence of the ‘Internet of Things’ has intensified and sparked increased attention to the relationship between humans and machines, and the role of technologies in everyday life. Contemporary technologies, particularly algorithms, are said to transforms mundane decision-making and have been described as a way to ‘delegate authority or control’. This development, if true, has severe implications on what it means to be human in current culture. Ethics and morality are areas of human lives that have been particularly discussed and debated in related to such issues, and some researchers claim it is no longer meaningful to separate human ethics from that of machines. In this talk I will address the nature and role of ethics and morality in digital culture and their relations to humans and machines. Taking ANT, and particularly Bruno Latour, as vantage point I will discuss different ways of approaching the two, and how we can make sense of ethics in a digital culture.
Stina Bengtsson is associate professor in Media and Communication Studies at Södertörn University, Stockholm. She has conducted several studies of the role of the media in everyday life, focussing media use and phenomenological dimensions, routines and rituals, time and space, ethics and morality. Bengtsson has published several books and articles in journals such as Media, Culture and Society, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Media and Communication, Games and Culture and Space and Culture.