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Intro to Ethics of Perception in Nanocognition - English

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Intro to Ethics of Perception in Nanocognition - English

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Contact: TechnologyPhilosopher@gmail.com


Tags: machine ethics, machine ethics interfaces, 2.0,cognition,cognitive nanorobots, ethics, ethics of perception, nanocognition, nanorobot, nanotechnology, nanotech, perception, philosophy, philosophy of mind


Description: What kinds of ethics should nanorobotic cognitive aids have? Cognitive nanorobots, an analog to medical nanorobots, could have applications in cognitive enhancement and perceptual aid such as bias reduction, memory management (access, suppression), and personalized ethics optimization. It is important to consider what kinds of ethics modules may be appropriate for inclusion in cognitive nanorobots. A number of core philosophical questions arise such as the possibility and desirability of knowing a true and objective reality, and selecting different realities. The philosophy of Bergson and Deleuze is used to investigate and propose an ethics of perception


The Ethics of Perception in Nanocognition contemplates the idea of having on-board cognitive nanorobots in our brains to aid with cognitive activities like perception, and explores what kinds of ethics modules might be appropriate for how we want cognitive nanorobots to guide our perception. Cognitive nanorobots are the analog of medical nanorobots for facilitating and improving the processes of cognition like perception and memory, a sort of NanoNeuroProsthetics. The Ethics of Perception in Nanocognition includes a number of previously unconsidered topics in philosophy, social science, and nanotechnology. We have not yet considered the idea of cognitive nanorobots, nor that of an ethics of perception, partly because having only one unalterable means of perception has meant that we have failed to question the ethics of our existing perception. Cognitive nanorobots can be seen in the context of the trend of portable and wearable computing that has already shown quick movement across the digital divide through cell phones, and now wearable tech like smartwatches and Google glass.


An Ethics of Perception -  Since our project is developing an Ethics of Perception, we need to connect perception and ethics. There is a moving transition to see ethics not as a topic of morality in the 1.0 mindset of limiting behavior but in the 2.0 sense of creating a life that is affirmatory and expansive. We see this trend in several philosophers. Heidegger encourages us to heed the call of conscience and live an authentic life outside of the they-voice of the crowd. Bergson suggests that our spontaneity of action gives us free will, and that we should tune into the subjective experience of life including experiencing time as duration, a melding overlap of states instead of fixed spatial blocks on a calendar. Foucault cautions us to be aware of the life’s pervasive micropower relations including top-down institutionally-imposed visible biopower, and the more insidious invisible disciplinary power that we apply to our own thought and behavior, self-disciplinary power. Deleuze and Guatarri continue this thought, exhorting us to eliminate microfascisms everywhere in our thinking and behavior, and become closer to our desires (biological and otherwise) as a productive force. Ranciere too moves beyond ethics as morality and instead sees it as a capacity or way of organizing of human experience which can be deployed in many ways including to improve equality. Next let’s interpret this affirmative perspective of an ethics 2.0 into the context of an ethics of perception.


MACHINE ETHICS INTERFACES - One of the core realizations we will start to have is that ethics and perception become something of choice, a module with selectable parameters, a UX, just like any other dropdown menu for technological feature selection. We can imagine picking an ethics buffer or a perceptual interface the same way we specify notification preferences on our tech gadgetry now. Immediately a hard philosophical problem arises as to whether ethics interfaces are even feasible - is it possible to have an objective reality as an input? But it is likely to have some agreed upon specification to make the technology work without having to answer the hard question about whether reality exists.


Another issue that emerges with the possibility of changing our perceptual apparatus is an awareness of the many ways in which we are currently biased due to biological evolution and society. With machine ethics interfaces, we could have the ability to adjust for these built-in biases. The ability to choose different kinds of perceptual realities suggests considering the Ethics of Reality directly. Even if we can obtain access to some sort of objective external reality, is it more ethical to see raw reality the way we do now with evolutionary biases or is it more ethical to see a bias-corrected version? A viewpoint can be articulated that it is unethical to experience raw reality because it is inhumane, unproductive, or perceptually harmful.


KILLER APPS - One of the most fun parts of thinking about cognitive nanorobotics is imaging killer apps like bias reduction, memory access and suppression, value system elicitation and optimization, desire management, perceptual augmentation, and point-of-view sharing apps. These apps could help with group ethics by providing a framework for managing the tensions between individual freedom and group cohesion.


In CONCLUSION, in creating a general ethics of perception, we should explicitly consider the development of machine ethics modules in our technology. These ethics modules, deployed in cognitive nanorobots and perceptual aids may start with some version of Assimov’s robot laws as an algorithmic baseline, but also need other dimensions that draw in elements of subjective experience such that we can be more internally-aware, connected, expressive, and freer as thinking and feeling beings.


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