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Robot Ethics 2.0From Autonomous Cars to Artificial Intelligence$
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Patrick Lin, Keith Abney, and Ryan Jenkins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190652951

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190652951.001.0001

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Skilled Perception, Authenticity, and the Case Against Automation

Skilled Perception, Authenticity, and the Case Against Automation

Chapter:
(p.80) 6 Skilled Perception, Authenticity, and the Case Against Automation
Source:
Robot Ethics 2.0
Author(s):

David Zoller

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190652951.003.0006

It is common to argue that doing things ourselves, using our skills, is more “authentic” than allowing automation to do things for us. Yet what this means or why it is desirable is rarely explained. Here I discuss the value of skill in terms of the effect that the widespread automation of skills—from driving to cooking—would have on our perceptual lives. The phenomenological tradition has long held that to have a skill is not just to have a productive capability; more than that, skill enables me to perceive elements and aspects of the world that are inaccessible to the unskilled. Automating my skills thus amounts to losing the ability to see and know certain “niches” of reality. By showing that skill, and the determinacy of perception that it brings us, is linked to some clearly recognizable human goods, I show that the potential loss of perceptual skill through automation is worthy of moral consideration.

Keywords:   robots, autonomous, automation, ethics, morality, skill, perception, authenticity, phenomenology

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