, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 100–106 | Cite as

Society and the Second Age of Machines: Algorithms Versus Ethics

  • Tomas Hauer


The term “Second Machine Age” was used by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in their book of the same name as an indication of the impact of AI technology on people, society, and the economy. The term seeks to analyse the age we actually live in, its hidden patterns, which jobs and fields of study have a perspective, and which do not. It is about the second industrial revolution that is going on right now, and it changes the world no less radically than the first one, driven by the steam locomotive. Exponential growth of digital technologies, digitization of everything and recombinant innovation is a driving engine and fuel of the Second Machine Age. However, the ethical issues of this change remain unaddressed. Artificial intelligence is currently being dealt with by a great many scientists and philosophers who ask many questions. The most important questions are whether the machines can think, whether we will give them the copyright, which the animals do not have until now, and the question whether AI can has its own ethics. The study focuses on these issues, and uses concrete examples to show our unpreparedness for these topics.


Second machine age Artificial intelligence Machine ethics Computer functionalism Moral dilemmas Ethical problem in robotics 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesVSB - Technical University of OstravaOstravaCzech Republic

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