The Essential Relationship between Information Ethics and Artificial Intelligence


  • Coetzee Bester
  • Rachel Fischer


Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems, Cultural Diversity, Ethics of AI, Information Ethics, Intercultural Information Ethics


This article rethinks the position of Information Ethics (IE) vis-à-vis the growing discipline of the ethics of AI. While IE has a long and respected academic history, the discipline of the ethics of AI is much younger. The scope of the latter discipline has exploded in the last decade in sync with the explosion of data driven AI. Currently, the ethics of AI as a discipline can be said to have sub-divided at least into machine ethics, robot ethics, data ethics, and neuro ethics. The argument presented here is that ethics of AI can from one perspective be viewed as a sub-discipline of IE. IE is at the heart of ethical concerns about the potential de-humanising impact of AI technologies, as it addresses issues relating to communication, the status of knowledge claims, and the quality of media-generated information, among many others. Perhaps the single most concerning ethical concern in the context of data-driven AI technology is the rise of new social narratives that threaten humans’ special sense of agency and, and this is firstly an IE concern. The article thus argues for the independent position of IE as well as for its position as the core, over-arching discipline, of the ethics of AI.


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How to Cite

Bester, Coetzee, and Rachel Fischer. 2021. “The Essential Relationship Between Information Ethics and Artificial Intelligence”. The International Review of Information Ethics 29 (March). Edmonton, Canada.