Strengthening Human Autonomy. In the era of autonomous technology

Authors

  • Rebekka Soma, Tone Bratteteig, Diana Saplacan, Robyn Schimmer

Keywords:

human autonomy, machine autonomy, datanomous technology, robots, smart insulin pump, artificial intelligence, philosophy of technology, situated abilities.

Abstract

Autonomous technologies’ refers to systems that make decisions without explicit human control or interaction. This conceptual paper explores the notion of autonomy by first exploring human autonomy, and then using this understanding to analyze how autonomous technology could or should be modelled. First, we discuss what human autonomy means. We conclude that it is the overall space for action—rather than the degree of control—and the actual choices, or number of choices, that constitutes human autonomy. Based on this, our second discussion leads us to suggest the term datanomous to denote technology that builds on, and is restricted by, its own data when operating autonomously. Our conceptual exploration brings forth a more precise definition of human autonomy and datanomous systems. Finally, we conclude this exploration by suggesting that human autonomy can be strengthened by datanomous technologies, but only if they support the human space for action. It is the purpose of human activity that determines if technology strengthens or weakens human autonomy.

Published

2023-01-06

How to Cite

Rebekka Soma, Tone Bratteteig, Diana Saplacan, Robyn Schimmer. (2023). Strengthening Human Autonomy. In the era of autonomous technology. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, 34(2), 163–198. Retrieved from http://sjis.scandinavian-iris.org/index.php/sjis/article/view/12

Issue

Section

Articles