Privacy, Intimacy, and Confucianism in A.I. and Technology Ethics: Limitations and Beyond

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperpeer-review


Nowadays, our information may easily be found on the internet and revealed to others without our consent. Alongside greater convenience, the rapid development of technology in the modern world has also brought about many ethical problems. The technology of Contact Tracing (CT) Apps, i-beacon technology, A.I. robots, ChatGPT, just to name a few examples, can be used by governments or organizations to collect our information for many good or bad purposes. How to handle and balance the conflict between privacy and collecting information (or even surveillance) is a topic that everyone should think about. And it is important for philosophers to provide an analytical and moral framework to solve such a conflict.

While the debates are still ongoing in the West, this presentation focuses on whether Confucianism can contribute to the debates. It starts from the discussion of the control account and the access account, and then argues why the resolution of these accounts concerning privacy requires a discussion of the concept of intimacy. Then the relationship between Confucianism and the intimacy account is analyzed in detail. Some Confucian notions like the concept of privacy, especially ‘Szu” (Private) and “Yin” (Hide), are also discussed. This presentation also challenges the so-called East-West differences on the ethics of privacy. Based on the above analysis, this presentation concludes with a discussion of how to evaluate the privacy issues in some practical examples, including the applications into the ethics of A.I. and technology.


ConferenceEthical and Social Implications of Artificial Intelligence
CityHong Kong
Internet address


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