Why an Ethic of Quantification?
24 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021 Last revised: 27 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 27, 2021
Looking at present-day technoscience, where utopian ambitions and dystopian fears confront one another, quantification plays a fundamental role. Artificial intelligence, big data, statistical, mathematical, and metrical objects share important promises, as well as important pathologies. From finance to education, from the economy to the environment, we increasingly use numbers and algorithms to increase efficiency and profit, to measure the speed of achieving objectives, to classify and to decide. Without an awareness of the interconnectedness of this multiform universe, no diagnosis is possible. A critical movement is needed, to control a sociotechnical imaginary where number-based technologies provide the solution to the problems created by technology itself. Is time ripe for an ethics of quantification?
Keywords: sociology of quantification, ethics of quantification, metrics, rating, algorithms, mathematical modelling
JEL Classification: C18, O32, O33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation