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Palgrave Macmillan

Nudging Choices Through Media

Ethical and philosophical implications for humanity

  • Book
  • © 2023

Overview

  • Addresses the growing use of computerized systems to influence people’s decisions without their awareness
  • Suggests ways to provide a sounder basis for future policies for algorithms
  • Explores the philosophical and ethical dimensions of algorithms that nudge people toward certain choices

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About this book

This book addresses the growing use of computerized systems to influence people’s decisions without their awareness, a significant but underappreciated sea-change in the way the world works. To assess these systems, this volume’s contributors explore the philosophical and ethical dimensions of algorithms that guide people’s behavior by nudging them toward choices preferred by systems architects. Particularly in an era of heightened awareness of bias and discrimination, these systems raise profound concerns about the morality of such activities. This volume brings together a diverse array of thinkers to critically examine these nudging systems. Not only are high-level perspectives presented, but so too are of those who use them on a day-to-day basis. While algorithmic nudging can produce benefits for users there are also many less-obvious costs to using such systems, costs that require examination and deliberation. This book is a major step towards delineating these concerns andsuggesting ways to provide a sounder basis for future policies for algorithms. It should be of interest to system designers, public policymakers, scholars, and those who wonder more deeply about the nudges they receive from various websites and on their phones.



Keywords

Table of contents (13 chapters)

Reviews

“This rich, crisscrossing, multidisciplinary collection succeeds in grasping and conveying the cumulative and potentially pernicious effect of nudging, which operates below the waterline of individual awareness as we are prompted and cajoled, but also reined in and hindered, always ever so gently. One is reminded of William S. Burroughs’ remark in Ah Pook is Here!: “Question: is control controlled by our need to control? Answer: Yes.” The volume does a terrific job of raising the bar on pressing ethical questions about this deeply troubling topic.” (Dr. Eran Guter, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Israel)

 

“This is a very stimulating and timely collection of essays addressing the ever more common social practice of “nudging” (to influence without forcing people’s decision-making and actions) in an increasingly automated society. Drawing from philosophy, sociology, history, behavioural psychology, and empirical studies, this brilliant compilation helps to envisage a new hybridity, a deeper fusion between human and artificial intelligence, that debunks our anthropocentric fantasies of privilege, and may prompt greater awareness of the digital revolution afoot.” (Dr. Victor J. Krebs, Professor of Philosophy, Pontifical Catholic University, Peru)


Editors and Affiliations

  • Boston University, Boston, USA

    James Katz

  • Boston, USA

    Katie Schiepers

  • Department of Philosophy, Boston University, Boston, USA

    Juliet Floyd

About the editors

James E. Katz, Ph.D., Dr.h.c., is the Feld Professor of Emerging Media at Boston University, United States. Among his honors is the 2021 Frederick Williams Prize from the International Communication Association.

Katie Schiepers is an Academic Administrator and former Division Administrator of Emerging Media Studies at Boston University, United States. She has co-edited Perceiving the Future through New Communication Technologies with Katz and Floyd (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). She holds a Master of Education and has also completed graduate studies in Classics and World Heritage Conservation.

Juliet Floyd, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy at Boston University, United States. Among her recent books is Stanley Cavell’s Must We Mean What We Say? at Fifty (co-edited with Greg Chase and Sandra Laugier, 2021).   


Bibliographic Information

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