Technologically blurred accountability?
This chapter begins with clarifying four things: what ‘responsibility’ means; what one’s ordinary conception of responsibility is; what the ‘blurring’ of responsibility might consist in; and how one understand the specific form of blurring that has been described as the creation of ‘responsibility gap’. The concept of responsibility gap presupposes the truth of basic everyday assumption that there are facts of matter concerning the accountability of agents. The chapter sorts the arguments that have been taken to show the existence of responsibility gaps into two kinds. First, certain technologically structured environments have looked to some authors to involve agents causally in ways not catered for by the everyday conceptual scheme. Secondly, their epistemic capacities are, so it has been claimed, challenged by such technologies in ways that overstrain the resources of one's standard conception. In many hands cases, as in cases of nudging and of the employment of autonomous agents, causal arguments cannot show that there are genuine responsibility gaps.