Episode #4: Evan Selinger on Algorithmic Outsourcing and the Value of Privacy

evanselinger_wiredopinionThis is the third episode in the Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast. In this episode I interview Evan Selinger. Evan is a Professor of Philosophy at the Rochester Institute for Technology. He is widely-published scholar in the ethics and law of technology. He is currently working on a book with Brett Frischmann entitled Being Human in the 21st Century which is due out with Cambridge University Press in 2017. In this interview we talk about two main topics: (i) the ethics of technological outsourcing and (ii) the value of privacy and the nature of obscurity.

You can listen to the podcast below. You can download the mp3 here. You can also subscribe via Stitcher and iTunes.


Show Notes

0:00 – 1:25 – Introduction to Evan

1:25 – 8:50 – What is algorithmic outsourcing? The fundamental structure of outsourcing

8:50 – 14:50 – Technological and non-technological examples of outsourcing

14:50 – 18:50 – Cognitive vs Affective Outsourcing

18:50 – 28:00 – Outsourcing interpersonal communications

28:00 – 32:20 – Objections to the outsourcing of interpersonal communications

32:20 – 41:00 – Is this a problem with technology or something technology encourages?

41:00 – 45:50 – What is privacy?

45.50 – 53:45 – What is obscurity? How does it relate to privacy?

53:45 – 1:02:20 – Is obscurity under threat?

1:02:20 – End – Isn’t privacy dead? Shouldn’t we embrace total transparency?



  • Allo – Google Messaging App
  • Crystal – app for determining psychological profiles

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