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Technical innovations raise specific ethical questions, in particular questions raised by innovations in relation to the Web and artificial intelligence. This article focuses on the digital technical systems that deploy these proclaimed innovations. A digital technical system is a system whose general operation is based on information, memory and calculation. The focus on the Web is founded on the massive nature of the phenomenon. The focus on artificial intelligence is easily explained since for the past 5 to 10 years, the term Artificial Intelligence has been used again to designate desired or feared innovations in a massive way. Current digital technical systems are now capturing the cognition market. The need to propose ways to manage the ethical issues raised is often considered urgent. It is in this changing context and where marketing often prevails over rigour that we propose an ethically oriented approach, to put the user in a position to determine the knowledge to do well, when the question obviously arises for him.
This article examines how a digital technical system could be mobilized to reveal ethical issues, understand them and support the processes of establishing appropriate behaviours. The first section focuses on elucidating what capacities a user would need to give in order to be able to manage an ethical question posed by or via a digital technical device. Assuming that these capacities have been correctly identified, the second section examines what would then be the general conditions and good technical properties to be guaranteed for these capacities to be put in place? To establish this grid of capabilities and associated good properties, we conducted a virtual survey of a number of philosophers from the earliest to the present.
The main section of the article focuses on the study of existing possibilities, and on imagining those that should be given to technical devices so that they exhibit the right properties necessary for ethical encapacitation.
The discussion is open to the value of the proposal, its credibility, the difficulties to be overcome and concludes that there is an urgent need to design ethically oriented digital technical devices.
Pour citer cet article :Mille Alain (2019/1). Towards Ethically Oriented Digital Technical Devices? In Khamassi Mehdi, Chatila Raja & Mille Alain (Eds), Ethics and Cognitive Sciences, Intellectica, 70, (pp.119-163), DOI: n/a.