Friday, February 26, 2021

88 - The Ethics of Social Credit Systems

Should we use technology to surveil, rate and punish/reward all citizens in a state? Do we do it anyway? In this episode I discuss these questions with Wessel Reijers, focusing in particular on the lessons we can learn from the Chinese Social Credit System. Wessel is a postdoctoral Research Associate at the European University Institute, working in the ERC project “BlockchainGov”, which looks into the legal and ethical impacts of distributed governance. His research focuses on the philosophy and ethics of technology, notably on the development of a critical hermeneutical approach to technology and the investigation of the role of emerging technologies in the shaping of citizenship in the 21st century. He completed his PhD at the Dublin City University with a Dissertation entitled “Practising Narrative Virtue Ethics of Technology in Research and Innovation”. In addition to a range of peer-reviewed articles, he recently published the book Narrative and Technology Ethics with Palgrave, which he co-authored with Mark Coeckbelbergh.

You can download the episode here or listen below.You can also subscribe on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotify and other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here).


Show Notes

Topics discussed in this episode include
  • The Origins of the Chinese Social Credit System
  • Historical Parallels to the System
  • Social Credit Systems in Western Cultures
  • Is China exceptional when it comes to the use of these systems?
  • The impact of social credit systems on human values such as freedom and authenticity
  • How the social credit system is reshaping citizenship
  • The possible futures of social credit systems

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