Henrik Skaug Sætra

Henrik Skaug Sætra
Østfold University College · Faculty of Computer Sciences, Engineering and Economics

Doctor of Philosophy

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59
Publications
28,551
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299
Citations

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
Choice architecture describes the environment in which choices are presented to decision-makers. In recent years, public and private actors have looked at choice architecture with great interest as they seek to influence human behaviour. These actors are typically called choice architects. Increasingly, however, this role of architecting choice is...
Article
Full-text available
The legitimacy of government is often linked to its ability to maintain order and secure peace. Thomas Hobbes’ political philosophy provides a clear description of why government is neces-sary, as human nature and the structures emerging out of human social interaction are such that order and peace will not naturally emerge to a sufficient degree....
Article
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Power and the use of force are central concerns in liberal political theory. Yet, it is claimed that liberal theory fails to account for the power that is exerted through, for example, personalised nudging based on Big Data. We dispute this claim and through a reappraisal of the concept of negative liberty we show how psychological interference can...
Article
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Health care technology is all the rage, and artificial intelligence (AI) has long since made its inroads into the previously human-dominated domain of care. AI is used in diagnos-tics, but also in therapy and assistance, sometimes in the form of social robots with fur, eyes and programmed emotions. Patient welfare, working conditions for the careta...
Article
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Assume that a researcher uncovers a major problem with how social media are currently used. What sort of challenges arise when they must subsequently decide whether or not to use social media to create awareness about this problem? This situation routinely occurs as ethicists navigate choices regarding how to effect change and potentially remedy th...
Article
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A recurring question in political philosophy is how to understand and analyse the trade-off between security and liberty. With modern technology, however, it is possible to argue that the former trade-off can be exchanged with the trade-off between security and privacy. I focus on the ethical considerations involved in the trade-off between privacy...
Chapter
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Machines in the form of advanced robots with social functionality are today in many ways indistinguishable from our fellow human beings, both in terms of how they interact with us and in terms of appearance. Robots like Sophia, for example, demonstrate how humanlike robots are becoming, and the large scale language model GTP-3 has impressed by its...
Book
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What is artificial intelligence? What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? How does AI affect the SDGs? Artificial Intelligence has a real impact on our lives and on our environment, and the Sustainable Development Goals enable us to evaluate these impacts in a systematic manner. This book shows that doing so requires us to understand the...
Chapter
Politics relates to the most fundamental questions of humans’ existence, and modern western societies tend to pride themselves on basing politics on democratic principles, including principles of inclusivity, participation, and autonomy and self-rule. Meanwhile, the continuously improving capabilities of various artificial intelligence (AI) based s...
Article
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Concepts can be powerful things, and few concepts are more contested than power. In his recent book, Power and Technology, Sattarov (2019) sets out to detail various notions of power while simultaneously showing how power and technology are related: 'phenomena of technology and power are becoming ever more inseparable' (p.1). He laments how others...
Article
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There is increasing attention given to the concept of trustworthiness for artificial intelligence and robotics. However, trust is highly context-dependent, varies among cultures, and requires reflection on others' trustworthiness, appraising whether there is enough evidence to conclude that these agents deserve to be trusted. Moreover, little resea...
Article
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When will it make sense to consider robots candidates for moral standing? Major disagreements exist between those who find that question important and those who do not, and also between those united in their willingness to pursue the question. I narrow in on the approach to robot rights called relationalism, and ask: if we provide robots moral stan...
Article
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Humans and gods alike have since the dawn of time created objects in their own image. From clay figures and wooden toys-some granted life in myths and movies but also dead representations of their creators-to modern-day robots that mimic their creators in more than appearance. These objects tell the story of how we perceive ourselves, and in this a...
Article
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Digital technologies have profound effects on all areas of modern life, including the workplace. Certain forms of digitalisation entail simply exchanging digital files for paper, while more com-plex instances involve machines performing a wide variety of tasks on behalf of humans. While some are wary of the displacement of humans that occurs when,...
Book
Big Data permeates all aspects of modern life, and while there is no shortage of potential benefits resulting from this, author Henrik Skaug Sætra argues that we must also understand the threats Big Data poses to liberty. The issues discussed in Big Data’s Threat to Liberty: Surveillance, Nudging, and the Curation of Information are related to how...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) now permeates all aspects of modern society, and we are simultaneously seeing an increased focus on issues of sustainability in all human activities. All major corporations are now expected to account for their environmental and social footprint and to disclose and report on their activities. This is carried out through...
Article
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Robots are today made not only to assist us in menial tasks and routine labour but also provide companionship and love. This has generated much academic and public interest, and people have asked whether robots can love, whether human-robot relationships are possible, and whether humans can develop loving affection for robots. These are all importa...
Chapter
Autism Spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by early onset difficulties in social communication, and unusually restricted, repetitive behaviors and interests. Children with autism are often not naturally as motivated as others by social interaction and situations involving dyadic play, and this is considered to be proble...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) offers previously unimaginable possibilities, solving problems faster and more creatively than before, representing and inviting hope and change, but also fear and resistance. Unfortunately, while the pace of technology development and application dramatically accelerates, the understanding of its implications does not...
Article
Full-text available
Students often perceive statistics as a difficult subject, and it is frequently named as one of the primary causes of high dropout rates in economics educations in Norway. In order to support the learning process in statistics courses, and in order to make the courses more flexible, the author experimented with the use of Padlet in two different st...
Article
Full-text available
Human beings are deeply social, and both evolutionary traits and cultural constructs encourage cooperation based on trust. Social robots interject themselves in human social settings, and they can be used for deceptive purposes. Robot deception is best understood by examining the effects of deception on the recipient of deceptive actions, and I arg...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) is associated with both positive and negative impacts on both people and planet, and much attention is currently devoted to analyzing and evaluating these impacts. In 2015, the UN set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), consisting of environmental, social, and economic goals. This article shows how the SDGs provide...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, the core concepts in Thomas Hobbes's framework of representation and responsibility are applied to the question of machine responsibility and the responsibility gap and the retribution gap. The method is philosophical analysis and involves the application of theories from political theory to the ethics of technology. A veil of comp...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) offers previously unimaginable possibilities, solving problems faster and more creatively than before, representing and inviting hope and change, but also fear and resistance. Unfortunately, while the pace of technology development and application dramatically accelerates, the understanding of its implications does not...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) offers previously unimaginable possibilities, solving problems faster and more creatively than before, representing and inviting hope and change, but also fear and resistance. Unfortunately, while the pace of technology development and application dramatically accelerates, the understanding of its implications does not...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) offers previously unimaginable possibilities, solving problems faster and more creatively than before, representing and inviting hope and change, but also fear and resistance. Unfortunately, while the pace of technology development and application dramatically accelerates, the understanding of its implications does not...
Chapter
What do we do when intuition tells us that our liberty is threatened, yet our theories fail to explain the threat we perceive? This is partly the case when attempting to get to grips with how Big Data threatens liberty. Three threats, individually and in concert, have been examined in the preceding chapters, and it is time to return to the concept...
Chapter
In the era of Big Data someone is always watching us. Big Data is an omniscient and ubiquitous presence in our society, but what does this entail in terms of individual liberty? I examine to what degree Big Data-based surveillance threatens liberty in both the negative and positive conception of the term. I arrive at three propositions: (a) Big Dat...
Chapter
A threat is posed by something, to something. In this book source of the threat is what I label Big Data, and the threat applies to liberty. Before detailing the threats, it will thus be necessary to make clear what these two concepts entail. Both of the concepts are subject to a wide array of different definitions and usages, and if this step is s...
Chapter
Big Data's threat to liberty is threefold, and in the preceding chapters of the book these related, but clearly different, threats have been presented and examined. While these threats are serious enough in isolation, the negative potential of Big Data emerges more clearly when they are seen in concert. In this chapter I focus on how surveillance a...
Chapter
This book has detailed the relationship between Big Data and liberty, with a particular focus on unpacking the notion of liberty. Liberty, or freedom, is mentioned in a wide array of books and articles that analyze the consequences of technology, but most of the times the content of the concept is not made explicit. This is a problem for the concep...
Chapter
In this chapter, I examine how nudging powered by Big Data relates to both negative and positive liberty. I focus in particular on how liberty is affected by appeals to irrational mechanisms. I conclude that it is problematic to use liberty as an argument for nudging. Such an argument would have to be based on the concept of positive liberty, empow...
Chapter
Never before have we had access to as much information as we do today, but how do we avail ourselves of it? In parallel with the increase in the amount of information, we have created means of curating and delivering it in sophisticated ways, through the technologies of algorithms, Big Data, and artificial intelligence. I examine how information is...
Article
Full-text available
Should we deploy social robots in care settings? This question, asked from a policy standpoint, requires that we understand the potential benefits and downsides of deploying social robots in care situations. Potential benefits could include increased efficiency, increased welfare, physiological and psychological benefits, and experienced satisfacti...
Article
Full-text available
Privacy relates to individuals and their ability to keep certain aspects of themselves away from other individuals and organisations. This leads both proponents and opponents of liberalism to argue that liberalism involves allowing individuals to determine for themselves the level of privacy they desire. If they are given adequate information and t...
Article
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Thomas Hobbes is a mainstay in political theory, but his political philosophy is often perceived as being marred by his insistence on absolute power and the rule of one – or the few. In this paper I examine how a reinterpretation and adjustment of the psychological fundament of Hobbes's systematic argument may in fact lead to a new understanding of...
Article
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God gave man the Earth, to use and enjoy. So says the Bible, and so says John Locke (1632-1704). The individualism and liberalism in Locke’s philosophy makes it decidedly modern and appealing to us today. However, he often uses God as a source of truth and premises in his arguments. This undermines the modern appearance and leaves us with a philoso...
Article
Full-text available
Can artificial intelligence (AI) develop the potential to be our partner, and will we be as sensitive to its social signals as we are to those of human beings? I examine both of these questions and how cultural psychology might add such questions to its research agenda. There are three areas in which I believe there is a need for both a better unde...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) has proven to be superior to human decision-making in certain areas. This is particularly the case whenever there is a need for advanced strategic reasoning and analysis of vast amounts of data in order to solve complex problems. Few human activities fit this description better than politics. In politics we deal with so...
Article
Full-text available
Human beings are deeply social, and both evolutionary traits and cultural constructs encourage cooperation based on trust. Social robots interject themselves in human social settings, and they can be used for deceptive purposes. Robot deception is best understood by examining the effects of deception on the recipient of deceptive actions, and I arg...
Chapter
Causality is a thorny issue in debates about explanation, and a quote from an introductory textbook on economics may serve as an example on how it is sometimes used. It states that “higher interest rates cause people to save more” (Lipsey, Chrystal, Economics. Oxford University Press, Oxford, p 15, 2004). How do higher interest rates cause this cha...
Article
Full-text available
‘Big Brother is watching you!’ the posters in Orwell's Oceania told all its inhabitants. We have no such posters, but we live in the era of Big Data, and someone is watching us. Here, I discuss how Big Data is an omniscient and ubiquitous presence in our society. I then examine to what degree Big Data threatens liberty in both the negative and posi...
Article
Full-text available
Never before have we had access to as much information as we do today, but how do we avail ourselves of it? In parallel with the increase in the amount of information, we have created means of curating and delivering it in sophisticated ways, through the technologies of algorithms, Big Data and artificial intelligence. I examine how information is...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, I examine how nudging powered by Big Data relates to both negative and positive liberty. I focus in particular on how liberty is affected by appeals to irrational mechanisms. I conclude that it is problematic to use liberty as an argument for nudging. Such an argument would have to be based on the concept of positive liberty, empow...
Chapter
Full-text available
Man is a peculiar being, but what are the boundaries between human beings and ma- chines? Many attempts at demarcating humanity, and by that identifying what makes us special, have been made throughout history. These debates are important, because they have implications for questions of both morality and politics. Even more so, it is important toda...
Article
Full-text available
Can artificial intelligence (AI) develop the potential to be our partner, and will we be as sensitive to its social signals as we are to those of human beings? I examine both of these questions and how cultural psychology might add such questions to its research agenda. There are three areas in which I believe there is a need for both a better unde...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) has proven to be superior to human decision-making in certain areas. This is particularly the case whenever there is a need for advanced strategic reasoning and analysis of vast amounts of data in order to solve complex problems. Few human activities fit this description better than politics. In politics we deal with so...
Article
Full-text available
We now live in the era of big data, and according to its proponents, big data is poised to change science as we know it. Claims of having no theory and no ideology are made, and there is an assumption that the results of big data are trustworthy because it is considered free from human judgement, which is often considered inextricably linked with h...
Article
Full-text available
Human beings have used technology to improve their efficiency throughout history. We continue to do so today, but we are no longer only using technology to perform physical tasks. Today, we make computers that are smart enough to challenge, and even surpass, us in many areas. Artificial intelligence—embodied or not—now drive our cars, trade stocks,...
Article
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Agent-based modeling (ABM) is in many ways an outsider in social research methods, but I will here argue that it has an important role to play in combination with other methods and approaches. ABM can be used in ways that offer unique benefits to social science researchers, but due to the abstract nature of the gained insights, this requires the em...
Article
Full-text available
Thomas Hobbes was one of the first modern political philosophers, and his approach to politics is still influential. Hobbes's philosophy is humanistic, and I examine how the natural world is treated in Hobbes's Leviathan (1946). While Hobbes may seem to be the antithesis to animal rights and environmentalism, I argue that this view is unfounded. Ho...

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Projects (2)
Project
Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau are the classical theorists in the social contract tradition, and this projects details the environmental ethics of these three political philosophers.