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Accepted Contribution:

From ELSI and RRI, to new ethical thinking about the poly-crisis  
Melanie Smallman (University College London)

Long abstract:

Over the past 20 years, we have seen STS critiques of ELSI style approaches to bioethics develop into ideas such as participatory technology assessment and RRI, with the focus around broadening perspectives and democratising decision making relating to science and technology. While the idea of more democracy is hard to dispute, the recent emergence of AI ethics as a largely philosophical discipline is perhaps an indication of the limited impact of democratising approaches in practice. In this paper, I will argue that the poly-crisis that climate change and AI presents to humanity offers a moment when we can review this critique and cleavage in disciplines. Sociological and political perspectives are urgently needed in order to deepen and broaden current approaches to AI and climate ethics, bringing important concepts like power, care, community and inequality, as well as rights and justice, into the frame. At the same time, we might need to challenge our discomfort with normativity and perhaps give thought to how we might be able to draw the normative from the democratic.

Combined Format Open Panel P164
STS & ethics: encounters on common ground
  Session 2