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A call for “Soft Ethics” by Professor Luciano Floridi

In this video, Oxford Digital Ethics Lab Professor Luciano Floridi asks an important question “How should we define new digital ethics which includes the benefits of technology for society and the economy whilst reinforcing the rights and freedoms of individuals?”

He makes a key point that's worth noting:

“We have detached the ability to solve problems (agency) from the need for being intelligent”

He positions Digital Ethics as an “enabler” and introduces the notion of hard vs. soft ethics:

“We can do with a little bit of digital ethics. We can do more and better if only you had that framework. So, it is not only “don't do this don't do that”, but also “you should do this and you should do that”. That's what I'd like to call soft ethics…. Soft Ethics is post-compliance. That is the rules of the game. But how do you win? Playing according to the rules is necessary but insufficient. You don't win the game by just playing to the rules. And what's playing to win? That is ethics: that's all you do of and above, within the constraints of compliance (legal), human rights, and feasibility.”

Related video by Gerd: We Need To Talk About AI

This post is co-produced by The Futures Agency's content curator Petervan





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