Technology as Ideology articles

Here gathered are research articles by the Kammari Research Group on the long-term research project Technology as Ideology.

A framework for the research and initial propositions by the Kammari Research Group: find the pdf here.

Capitalism Labor and the Totalising Drive of Technology – Niklas Toivakainen.
In this paper I try to illustrate, quite roughly and indicatively, the interconnections between automation technology and social organization. Central to this analysis are the notions of automation, increased productivity in a capitalist society, labor, equality, global inequality and the modern culture of technology. I will end the paper with brief critical remarks on the question of ‘robot rights’.

Social Robots as mirrors of (failed) communion – Niklas Toivakainen
Abstract: The initial point of this paper is that when we are engaged with the world, with human beings and morality in a technological or techno-scientific framework, we are projecting an interest of power — our interest to know how things “work” — into our conceptual scheme. In contrast to a technological understanding, I suggest that human beings are characterised by a non-technological moral necessity. I characterise this moral necessity as an inherent responsiveness, an I-you relationship, whereas my claim is that a technological conception of morality takes as its ethical basis collective social identities.

Machines and the face of ethics – Niklas Toivakainen
(or read the finished article online in the publishing journal at:
Abstract: In this article I try to show in what sense Emmanuel Levinas’ ‘ethics as first philosophy’ moves our ethical thinking away from what has been called ‘centrist ethics’. Proceeding via depictions of the structure of Levinasian ethics and including references to examples as well as to some empirical research, I try to argue that human beings always already find themselves within an ethical universe, a space of meaning. Critically engaging with the writings of David Gunkel and Lucas Introna, I try to argue that these thinkers, rather than clarifying, distort our ethical understanding of how we stand in relation to artefacts. Drawing a distinction between how pervasive our ethical relationship to other human beings, and living animals, is and how the nature of artefacts is tied to us, I conclude by indicating that the aspiration to give artefacts an ethical face suggests a fantasy to avoid ethical responsibility and generates what I call a ‘compensatory logic’.

The moral roots of Artificial Intelligence – Niklas Toivakainen
Introduction: I gather that it would not be an overstatement to claim that the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) research is perceived by many to be one of the most fascinating, inspiring, hopeful, but also one of the most worrisome and dangerous advancements of modern civilisation. Not only does AI research and related fields such as e.g. neuroscience promise to replace human labor, to make it more efficient, to integrate robotics into social realitiesi and to enhance human capabilities. To many, AI represents or incarnates an important element of a new philosophy of mind, contributing to a revolution in our understanding of humans and life in general, which is usually integrated with a vision of a new era of human and super human intelligence. With such grandiose hopes invested in a project it is but surprising that the same elements that invoke hope and enthusiasm in some, generate anxiety and disquietude in others…