Dr. Brandt Owen Dainow
2019 – Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), Maynooth University.
Research question: “Threats to human autonomy from emerging ICTs”
2013 – Baccalaureate of Philosophy, Pontifical University, Ireland.
Research question: “Application of Thomist Natural Law Theory to Criterion of Justice in Cyberlaw”
2012 – Bachelor of Arts (BA) Hons. in Philosophy and Classics, National University of Ireland (Maynooth).
1976 - Diploma in Journalism, Auckland Technical Institute, New Zealand
Hume Scholarship, Maynooth University.
Now an Irish citizen, Brandt was born in Wales and raised in New Zealand. He was a freelance journalist and programmer during the first rise of popular computing during the 1980’s, eventually becoming Microsoft’s Senior Windows Technician for the Pacific Region. Moving to the UK in 1988, he was an early pioneer of the internet, building the first commercial website in the UK in 1992. He lectured on web technologies across the USA and Europe during the 1990’s and helped many corporations move onto the web for the first time, including the International Atomic Energy Commission, Microsoft, IBM and British Telecom. He had a small role in the development of several web technology standards, and in the first wave of tracking technologies which now underpin most of the internet economy.
Brandt saw first-hand the difference between the promise of web technologies and the way in which they were actually used by companies such as Facebook and Google. This experience has driven his philosophical interests in Science and Technology Studies, which are focused on ethical concerns within high technology environments.
Brandt is a founder of the International Association of Digital Analytics, the British Computer Society’s Internet Specialist Group and the Irish Chapter of the Internet Society (of which he was chair 2016 - 2019).
Brandt’s main interest is Applied Philosophy, particularly the role of autonomy at the intersection of ethics and technology. His research has focused on ethical issues within emerging Smart Cities, especially algorithmic justice and other issues of Artificial Intelligence. His perspective is primarily driven by process philosophy, particularly General Systems Theory. His most recent publications develop Integrated Domain Theory, which fuse concepts from Bourdieu, Luhmann and Latour to provide a way of mapping ethical concerns within complex technical environments, such as Smart Cities. He has a particular interest in the direct application of classical philosophical works to modern problems of technology. In this respect, the primary philosophers from which he draws are Aristotle, Aquinas and Kant. He is also interested in the application of theological perspectives to emerging technologies, such as Niebuhr’s Christian Realism, indigenous Quechuan philosophy (Peru/Bolivia) and Shinto (Japan).
- “Smart City Transcendent - Understanding the Smart City by Transcending Ontology.” Orbit 1 (2017).
- “Threats to Autonomy from Emerging ICTs.” Australasian Journal of Information Systems 21, no. 0 (2017).
- “Digital Alienation as the Foundation of Online Privacy Concerns.” Computers & Society (2015): 109–17.
- “Key Dialectics in Cloud Services.” Computers & Society (2015): 52–59.
- “What Can a Medieval Friar Teach Us about the Internet: Deriving Criteria of Justice for Cyberlaw from Thomist Natural Law Theory.” Philosophy and Technology 26, no. 4 (2013): 459–76.
- “Binding the Smart City Human-Digital System with Communicative Processes”. In Technology and the City, edited by Michael Nagenborg, 2020
- “Performance-Based Advertising”, in Understanding Digital Marketing by Damian Ryan & Calvin Jones, 106-110, (London: Kogan Page) (2009)
- “Ethics in Emerging Technology,” ITNOW 56 (3): 16–18. (London: BCS) (2014).
- “Not an Afterthought – Principles of Value-Sensitive Design”, Digital Leaders (5): 8-9. (London: BCS) (2016)
- “GDPR and the return of Content-based Advertising”, RTE Brainstorm (Dublin: RTE) (2018)
- “The Future of Law for Artificial Intelligence”, RTE Brainstorm, (Dublin: RTE) (2019)
- “How can Facebook fix its live-streaming problem?”, RTE Brainstorm, (Dublin: RTE) (2019)
Philosophy of the Digital Age, Applied Philosophy, ethical education within Computer Science.