This ground-breaking and timely book explores how big data, artificial intelligence and algorithms are creating new types of agency, and the impact that this is having on our lives and the rule of law. Addressing the issues in a thoughtful, cross-disciplinary manner, the authors examine the ways in which data-driven agency is transforming democratic practices and the meaning of individual choice.
Leading scholars in law, philosophy, computer science and politics analyse the latest innovations in data science and machine learning, assessing the actual and potential implications of these technologies. They investigate how this affects our understanding of such concepts as agency, epistemology, justice, transparency and democracy, and advocate a precautionary approach that takes the effects of data-driven agency seriously without taking it for granted.
Scholars and students of law, ethics and philosophy, in particular legal, political and democratic theory, will find this book a compelling and invaluable read, as will computer scientists interested in the implications of their own work. It will also prove insightful for academics and activists working on privacy, fairness and anti-discrimination.
'The volume begins with a deep and insightful philosophical dialogue between the editors on AI, conservatism and legal protection, which sets the scene for the wide ranging but complementary chapters that follow. It confronts a set of questions about our data-driven present-future which are at once theoretical and practically urgent. Amongst the now-crowded literature on the political and legal implications of digital technologies, it is rare to encounter writing with such lyricism and verve, by turns whimsical and deadly serious. The chapters present a range of novel conceptual frames, from the algorithmic limbic system to a conservative defence against big data, each of which are bold and imaginative whilst being predicated on existing social and technological practices.'
– Reuben Binns, University of Oxford, UK
'In a time in which algorithms are pervading communication, culture and social life in increasingly effective ways, theoretical reflection often lags behind. Hildebrandt and O'Hara have succeeded in assembling and coordinating a brilliant collection of observations from different disciplines that, rather than being driven by technology, ambitiously show alternative perspectives. An illuminating read to help us understand and govern the challenges our society is facing.'
– Elena Esposito, University of Bologna, Italy and University of Bielefeld, Germany
'How should human agents preserve their humanity, their agency, and their valued institutions in their self-created data-driven environments? In this stimulating book – a follow-up to Smart Technologies and the End(s) of Law – readers will find more from Mireille Hildebrandt (in her own right and in conversation with her co-editor, Kieron O'Hara) and more from an impressive team of contributors (spanning law, philosophy, politics, media and computer science). Text is not yet dead; this is a must-read book.'
– Roger Brownsword, King's College London and Bournemouth University, UK
Contributors include: J.E. Cohen, G. de Vries, S. Delacroix, P. Dumouchel, C. Ess, M. Garnett, E.H. Gerding, R. Gomer, C.B. Graber, M. Hildebrandt, C. Maple, K. O'Hara, P. Ohm, M.C. Schraefel, D. Stevens, N. van Dijk, M. Veale.
Edited by Mireille Hildebrandt, Research Professor of Interfacing Law and Technology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium; Full Professor of Smart Environments, Data Protection and the Rule of Law, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands and Kieron O'Hara, Associate Professor in Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, UK.