Life and the Law in the Era of Data-Driven Agency
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Life and the Law in the Era of Data-Driven Agency

Edited by Mireille Hildebrandt and Kieron O’Hara

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, leading scholars in law, philosophy, computer science and politics examine the ways in which data-driven agency is transforming democratic practices and the meaning of individual choice.
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Chapter 7: From the digital to a post-digital era?

Charles Ess


Following a summary of central elements of Hildebrandt’s arguments, I take up three major intersections between Hildebrandt and (1) Media and Communication Studies (MCS) and (2) Information and Computing Ethics (ICE).  First, Medium Theory (MT) helps clarify and support her understanding of the complex relationship between print technology and the Rule of Law.   Second, I introduce virtue ethics in ICE in order to show how Hildebrandt’s accounts overlap with key components of this ethical framework: virtue ethics thus powerfully reinforces and enhances certain aspects of Hildebrandt’s normative accounts and argument.  Finally, I suggest how Hildebrandt’s accounts and argumentative trajectory likewise cohere with an emerging shift from a digital to a post-digital era (MCS). These three intersections both strengthen her arguments and show how her work is deeply relevant to not only legal scholarship and philosophy, but also to Media and Communication Studies and Information and Computing Ethics.

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