An ethical framework of responsibility for a diversity-sensitive social platform

Dr. Karoline Reinhardt has presented a first sketch of an ethical framework of responsibility for WeNet, a diversity-sensitive social platform, at the Budapest Workshop on Philosophy of Technology (BudPT) on 12-13 December 2019.

The BudPT is a bi-annual event that brings together philosophers, ethicists, engineers, computer and social scientists to discuss topical and fundamental questions in the field of Philosophy of Technology. This year’s Workshop was dedicated to the ethics of Artificial Intelligence, epistemology of engineering and the metaphysics of artefacts.

Starting out from the observation that diversity-related data are often sensitive-personal data, Karoline Reinhardt argued that their collection makes persons vulnerable to a number of misuse scenarios. Therefore, creating a diversity-sensitive social platform bestows an enormous responsibility on designers and developers. This is a responsibility that WeNet researchers do not want to side-step but live up to in their research and development activities.

In her talk, Karoline Reinhardt shed light on the usual problems related to responsibility with regard to technology-mediated interactions but also to problems that arise in particular with regard to platform-mediated social interactions. To provide a (preliminary) solution to these problems she developed a relational, proactive and positive account of responsibility with various layers creating an ever-denser net of overlapping spheres of responsibility. Contrary to many traditional concepts of responsibility, this account would cover the special problems that arise with regard to social platforms and is applicable to the research and development endeavour of WeNet.