If a robot is conscious, is it OK to turn it off? The moral implications of building true AIs

Philosophers say now is the time to mull over what qualities should grant an artificially intelligent machine moral standing.

Anand Vaidya, Associate Professor of Philosophy, San José State University • conversation
Oct. 27, 2020 ~10 min

Tags:  artificial-intelligence  robots  philosophy  consciousness  star-trek  peter-singer  turing-test  deep-blue  human-consciousness

Experts consider the ethical implications of new technology

Faculty from the Computer Science and Philosophy departments join forces in a successful new undergraduate initiative, Embedded EthiCS, to change the way computer scientists think about the ethical implications of new technology.

Christina Pazzanese • harvard
Oct. 16, 2020 ~15 min

Tags: science-technology computer-science ethics harvard-john-a-paulson-school-of-engineering-and-applied-sciences harvard-college barbara-grosz radhika-nagpal alison-simmons embedded-ethics philosophy christina-pazzanese faculty-of-arts-and-science david-grant jeffrey-behrends

Challenge trials for a coronavirus vaccine are unethical – except for in one unlikely scenario

Challenge trials – purposefully exposing volunteers to the coronavirus – could speed up the development of a vaccine. But there are serious ethical concerns with this approach.

Ben Bramble, Visiting Fellow, Princeton University • conversation
Aug. 24, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: covid-19 coronavirus ethics risk pandemic philosophy vaccines sars-cov-2 viruses lockdown bioethics essential-workers

Coronavirus: why it's dangerous to blindly 'follow the science' when there's no consensus yet

If expert advice on the pandemic turns out to be wrong, it will have dire consequences for how reliable scientific evidence is treated in other policy areas, such as climate change.

Eric Winsberg, Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of South Florida • conversation
June 18, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: climate-change covid-19 coronavirus-2020 lockdown peer-review covid-19-lockdown scientific-publishing philosophy-of-science

Did Neil Ferguson really do wrong in breaking the coronavirus lockdown?

Lockdown requires that we all act as if we know nothing, even if we are world experts on disease transmission.

Stephen John, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Public Health, University of Cambridge • conversation
May 7, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: covid-19 coronavirus morality social-distancing lockdown autonomy fairness moral-philosophy

Strong opinions are irrational – here's why we should all be agnostic

Those with strong beliefs tend to be admired.

Darren Bradley, Associate Professor, University of Leeds • conversation
April 30, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: philosophy debate wisdom-of-crowds argument epistemology disagreements echo-chambers

Devs: explaining the philosophy at the centre of Alex Garland's mind-bending TV show

If every action spilts the universe into different versions, what does that mean for free will?

Benjamin Curtis, Lecturer in Philosophy and Ethics, Nottingham Trent University • conversation
April 30, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: philosophy quantum-mechanics free-will determinism

Why can't I stop thinking about my dead parents?

Whether we miss them, feel guilty about not having appreciated them more or struggle to forgive them, remembering our parents can hurt. Here's how to move on.

Silvia Panizza, Teaching Fellow, University College Dublin • conversation
April 16, 2020 ~11 min

Tags: children parents death psychology memory philosophy lifes-big-questions forgiveness loss

Why coronavirus death rates can't be summed up in one simple number

A lot of numbers are being tossed around about COVID-19 and what to expect in the future. They're being used to make critical public health decisions, but they aren't as simple as they appear.

Jonathan Fuller, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh • conversation
April 10, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: health medicine covid-19 coronavirus death policy statistics philosophy social-distancing coronavirus-2020 death-rates

How to understand social distancing as a moral issue

If someone has the luxury of social distancing during the pandemic, why wouldn't they do it? An expert examines the morality of the issue.

Emily Litvack-U. Arizona • futurity
April 6, 2020 ~1 min

Tags: covid-19 ethics philosophy featured social-lives health-and-medicine morals

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