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The Over-Extended Mind? Pink Noise and the Ethics of Interaction-Dominant Systems

Meacham, Darian; Prado Casanova, Miguel

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Darian Meacham
Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy

Miguel Prado Casanova


© 2018, The Author(s). There is a growing recognition within cognitive enhancement and neuroethics debates of the need for greater emphasis on cognitive artefacts. This paper aims to contribute to this broadening and expansion of the cognitive-enhancement and neuroethics debates by focusing on a particular form of relation or coupling between humans and cognitive artefacts: interaction-dominance. We argue that interaction-dominance as an emergent property of some human-cognitive artefact relations has important implications for understanding the attribution and distribution of causal and other forms of responsibility as well as agency relating to the actions of human-cognitive artefact couplings. Interaction-dominance is both indicated and constituted by the phenomenon of “pink noise”. Understanding the role of noise in this regard will establish a necessary theoretical groundwork for approaching the ethical and political dimensions of relations between human cognition and digital cognitive artefacts. We argue that pink noise in this context plays a salient role in the practical, ethical, and political evaluation of coupling relations between humans and cognitive artefacts, and subsequently in the responsible innovation of cognitive artefacts and human-artefact interfaces.


Meacham, D., & Prado Casanova, M. (2018). The Over-Extended Mind? Pink Noise and the Ethics of Interaction-Dominant Systems. NanoEthics, 12(3), 269-281.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 5, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 1, 2018
Publication Date Dec 1, 2018
Deposit Date Nov 19, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 19, 2018
Journal NanoEthics
Print ISSN 1871-4757
Electronic ISSN 1871-4765
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 3
Pages 269-281
Keywords extended mind thesis, cognitive artefacts, pink noise, machine-human hybrid, responsible research and innovation, distributed cognition, responsibility, Interaction-dominant systems,
enhancement, human enhancement technology, value-sensitive
design, noi
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