Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Khoo S.
Beyond normality? technologies between assistance and enhancement
Algocracy and the threats to democratic inclusion
NUI Galway
Conference Organising Committee Chairperson
Optional Fields
This article explores the fundamental centrality of transhumanist debates for the HDCA, particularly focusing on the effects of new informational technologies on democratic environments, processes and capabilities. ‘Algocracy’ potentially threatens public decision-making processes by outsourcing, constraining and limiting opportunities for human participation. Powerful social, political and economic forces may capture technology, enabling unprecedented power inequalities to influence, manipulate and modify individual and collective capabilities to reason, choose, be empowered and exercise agency. As social media has increased in importance, the global informational landscape has become more polarized, conflictual, and permeated by disinformation. New, hidden and opaque logics of choice and decision-influencing have emerged, as have scandals surrounding electoral manipulation. Key HDCA principles of agency and democratic inclusion are premised upon the exercise of agency freedom, free participation in a public sphere and engagement in democratic reasoning. Human capabilities and freedoms are potentially undermined by the instrumentalities, inequalities and aggregative outcomes that emerge from technologically overdetermined processes of ‘information’ and ‘empowerment’. Ultimately, HDCA aligns with transhumanist preferences for human expansiveness, plurality and transcendence, while simultaneously serving as a bulwark against the threats of dominated post-humanism and algocracy.
Publication Themes
Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy, Humanities in Context