In this interview we speak with Dr. Hare about the ideas in her book Technology Is Not Neutral: A Short Guide to Technology Ethics. We talk about her argument that technology isn’t a neutral tool. We also discuss practical ideas about how to balance our responsibilities managing technology. Here are some of the questions we explored:
- How do you define “neutrality?” Why isn’t technology neutral in your view?
- What is a tool and is there a way we can make a distinction between something that is a tool and something that isn’t?
- Is technology use asymmetrical in that malevolent actors have more power using it than benevolent ones? What is the root of the asymmetry?
- Do you consider it a good thing that there are multiple voices creating may narratives over having few voices control a single or fewere narratives? We looked at newspapers as an example. The invention of the printing press and newsprint replaced one authority (the church) for another (the editor), whereas the internet with its many voices provides more choice.
Stephanie Hare is a researcher, broadcaster and author focused on technology, politics and history. Previously she worked at Accenture, Palantir, and Oxford Analytica and held the Alistair Horne Visiting Fellowship at St Antony’s College, Oxford. She earned a PhD and MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including a year at the Université de la Sorbonne (Paris IV).
Stephanie has served as a chair/moderator at the HowTheLightGetsIn festival alongside the river Wye in the famed book town of Hay in the United Kingdom. This year’s festival in June 2022 features many great speakers and artists.
- Link to festival homepage
- Link to festival ticket page (Full festival tickets and flexi day passes on sale):
- Link to purchase festival online tickets (for those unable to attend in person, the festival will also be streaming live from 2-5th June)
- 20% Discount for Philosophy News readers using the discount code PHILNEWS20