"ethical things": crowdsourcing and networked objects
"Ethical Things" by Matthieu Cherubini and Simone Rebaudengo is a fascinating exploration of autonomous systems and "smart" objects:
"The 'Ethical Things' project looks at how an object, facing everyday ethical dilemmas, can keep a dose of humanity in its final decision while staying flexible enough to accommodate various ethical beliefs.In order to achieve that, our "ethical fan" connects to a crowd-sourcing website every time it faces an ethical dilemma. It posts the dilemma it's facing and awaits the help of one of the "workers", or mechanical turks, who will tell the fan how to behave. Thus, it assures that the decision executed by the system is the fruit of real human moral reasoning. Moreover, the fan is designed to let the user set various traits (such as religion, degree, sex, and age) as criterion to choose the worker who should respond to the dilemma, in order to assure that a part of the user's culture and belief system is in line with the worker, or ethical agent.(Should it be a middle-aged Muslim male with a PhD or a young Atheist female?)"
Why do I blog this? This is a curious investigation mundane and insignificant objects of our everyday lives. It's a good example of a human/non-human collaboration flux based on the articulation of networked objects and crowdsourcing.