Thursday, 26 January 2012

Luciano Floridi on "Enveloping the World"

I'd thought of writing a blog post about this talk that I attended today, but my colleague Magnus Ramage has already written something in his 'Present on Earth' blog. This is handy, because I probably wouldn't have got around to writing anything (the 'posts' page of this blog contains 34 drafts that I started and never finished - many of them about talks I'd been to - "I ought to blog about that interesting talk").

So here's the start of Magnus's post:
Just back from a very interesting talk by Luciano Floridi, prof of the philosophy of information at the University of Hertfordshire. He was unable to come to our workshop The Difference That Makes a Difference 2011, but David Chapman and I have been reading his work quite a bit, so it was good to get to meet him. Luciano's title was "Enveloping the World: Understanding the Constraining Success of Smart Technologies", and he mostly talked about the interaction between technologies, especially those which might be seen as smart or even artificially intelligent, and their environment. He used the very helpful concept of enveloping from robotics, where a technology is situated within a constraining environment which has been tailored to make the robot work most efficiently; and he argued that the world as a whole has become tailored to enable us to interact smoothly with our supposedly smart technologies
Read it all

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