International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 36, Issue 1, Spring 2022

Caroline Stockman, Paulo Vieira
Pages 97-112

Moral Machines
Critiquing Kantian Deontology for Blockchain Polygraphs

Misinformation, disinformation, or fake news pose a new societal challenge. Through Kantian philosophy, we postulate this as an ethical challenge, one driven by social forces that shape social media’s use towards unethical knowledge production. However, automated or intelligent technologies can also be a solution in acting as a polygraph on social media platforms. We propose such technology could be ethical-by-design if we bring moral philosophy into a software architecture. Kant’s philosophical formalism is well-aligned with computing logic, especially blockchain applications. However, we must also remain highly vigilant to the conceptual complexities, the existing critiques on Kantian ethics and deontology, and the general approach of imbuing moral thinking into a machine-especially if based on only one, rather hard-lined philosophy. While the principled nature of Kant’s propositions make for a suitable architecture, it poses in itself critical ethical concerns and considerations.