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Episode #32

What is Manipulation?

We’re told that algorithms on social media are manipulating us. But is that true? What is manipulation? Can an AI really do it? And is it necessarily a bad thing? These questions and more with philosopher Michael Klenk.

Michael Klenk is a tenured Assistant Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Technology at TU Delft. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Utrecht University, graduating with the highest possible distinction. Before becoming a professional philosopher, he earned Business Administration and Psychology degrees and worked as a management consultant. Focusing on resolving foundational philosophical issues with practical implications, Klenk investigates the ethical dimensions of emerging technologies. His recent work is on manipulation, particularly in online contexts. He co-edited the Philosophy of Online Manipulation with Fleur Jongepier (Routledge, 2022), and his work has appeared in journals such as American Philosophical Quarterly, Analysis, Synthese, Erkenntnis, Philosophy and Technology, and Ethics and Information Technology.