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The ghost in the algorithm: how to define and to apply digital ethics for the common good


As every epistemologist knows, even the most unbiased scientist brings their own metaphysics. Values, prejudices, ideologies: everything the neutrality of science desperately tries to remove by pushing it through the door, it comes back through the window. The same applies to developers and data scientists, in the computer science applied to decision making and to catching human attention. For this reason no algorithm -be it inside an self-driving car, an intelligent chatbot, a smart device or Facebook news feed- is perfectly neutral. It reveals the beliefs of the author. I'll try to describe the ways and real cases happening in every day life, influencing the shopping behaviors, the opinions and the political discourse, and the personal relationships of the billions connected across the globe. A digital and connected world haunted by a ghost: the ghost of an ethics we can't identify, recognise and direct toward a common good.


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