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Humanist Archives: June 7, 2022, 7:43 a.m. Humanist 36.54 - a shifting moral agent

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 54.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
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        Date: 2022-06-06 13:37:21+00:00
        From: maurizio lana <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 36.52: AI: a shifting moral agent?

hi Willard,

not exactly the same but strictly related, EU has Resolution
P9_TA(2020)0276 "Civil liability regime for artificial

preparatory matters and discussion here: "Artificial Intelligence
and civil liability",

in the resolution the civil liability is jointly and severally attributed
to the categories of backend operator: "the natural or legal person 
who, on a continuous basis, defines the features of the technology, 
provides data and essential backend support service and therefore 
also exercises a degree of control over the risk connected with the
operation and functioning of the AI-system;" and frontend operator: 
"the natural or legal person who exercises a degree of control over 
a risk connected with the operation and functioning of the AI-system 
and benefits from its operation".

what this means is that from a legal point of view the use of IA
systems doesn't change the whole responsibility of the humans using

i speak here of responsibility because a moral agent is such if it
is /is (if it can be deemed) responsible of its actions
(to answer your question, the moral agent of an automaton are
jointly and severally "the producer" and the "user").


Il 05/06/22 07:45, Humanist ha scritto:

In his review of a collection of Stanley Cavell's essays, Colin Burrow
notes that in Cavell's writing "The world of art, in particular, is
ethically charged", then quotes his author: "The creation of art, being
human conduct which affects others, has the commitments any conduct
has."* Remembering that 'artificial' means literally 'made by art', what
does this say about artificial intelligence? If the moral agent of a
painting, say, is the painter, then who is the moral agent of an automaton?

Developing some clarity for this question (revising it as need be) would
be worthwhile, don't you think?

mural of Giulio Regeni in Mohammed Mahmoud Street, Cairo

the source is
the meaning of the place

Maurizio Lana
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici
UniversitĂ  del Piemonte Orientale
piazza Roma 36 - 13100 Vercelli
tel. +39 347 7370925

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