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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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The Unabomber on Robots

The Unabomber on Robots

The Need for a Philosophy of Technology Geared Toward Human Ends

(p.369) 24 The Unabomber on Robots
Robot Ethics 2.0

Jai Galliott

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a limited defense of a controversial argument put forward by Ted Kaczynski, the “Unabomber,” namely that technological society threatens humanity’s survival. It draws on direct correspondence and prison interviews with Kaczynski and applies his broader views to the robotization of humanity; and it argues that the technological system is so complex that users are forced into choosing between jailed technology controlled by those within existing oppressive power structures, dedicating their lives to building knowledge and understanding of the software and robotics that facilitate participation in the technological system, or otherwise revolting against said system. That is, contra Peter Ludlow, it is not simply a matter of putting technology back in the hands of the people through “hacktivisim” or open-source design and programming. We must either accept revolt as permissible or recover a philosophy of technology truly geared toward human ends—parts set against the dehumanizing whole.

Keywords:   robots, autonomous systems, ethics, autonomy, technoindustrial society, hacktivism, open-source, vehicles, Unabomber, Kaczynski

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