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Podcast Profile: Philosophical Disquisitions

podcast imageTwitter: @JohnDanaher (followed by 321 philosophers)
Site: philosophicaldisquisitions.blogspot.com
60 episodes
2019 to present
Open in Apple PodcastsRSS

Categories: Interview-Style • Science and Technology

Podcaster's summary: Interviews with experts about the philosophy of the future.

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List Updated: 2022-Dec-04 12:36 UTC. Episodes: 60. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Episodes
2022-Nov-28
101 - Pistols, Pills, Pork and Ploughs: How Technology Changes Morality
It's clear that human social morality has gone through significant changes in the past. But why? What caused these changes? In this episode, I chat to Jeroen Hopster from the University of Utrecht about this topic. We focus, in particular, on a recent paper that Jeroen co-authored with a number of colleagues about four historical episodes of moral change and what we can learn from them. That paper, from which I take the title of this podcast, was called 'Pistols, Pills, Pork and Ploughs' and, as you might i...
2022-Nov-22
100 - The Past and Future of Transhumanism
In this episode (which by happenstance is the 100th official episode - although I have released more than that) I chat to Elise Bohan. Elise is a senior research scholar at the Future of Humanity Institute in Oxford University. She has a PhD in macrohistory ("big" history) and has written the first book-length history of the transhumanist movement. She has also, recently, published the book Future Superhuman, which is a guide to transhumanist ideas and arguments. We talk about this book in some detail, and ...
2022-Nov-07
99 - Trusting Untrustworthy Machines and Other Psychological Quirks
In this episode I chat to Matthias Uhl. Matthias is a professor of the social and ethical implications of AI at the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt. Matthias is a behavioural scientist that has been doing a lot of work on human-AI/Robot interaction. He focuses, in particular, on applying some of the insights and methodologies of behavioural economics to these questions. We talk about three recent studies he and his collaborators have run revealing interesting quirks in how humans relate to AI decision-maki...
2022-Sep-20
Ethics of Academia (12) - Olle Häggström
In this episode (the last in this series for the time being) I chat to Olle Häggström. Olle is a professor of mathematical statistics at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Having spent the first half of his academic life focuses largely on pure mathematical research, Olle has shifted focus in recent years to consider how research can benefit humanity and how some research might be too risky to pursue. We have a detailed conversation about the ethics of research and contrast different ideals o...
2022-Sep-13
Ethics of Academia (11) - Jessica Flanigan
In this episode I chat to Jessica Flanigan. Jessica is a Professor of Leadership Ethics at the University of Richmond, where she is also the Richard L Morrill Chair in Ethics & Democratic Values. We talk about the value of philosophical research, whether philosophers should emulate Socrates, and how to create good critical discussions in the classroom. I particularly enjoyed hearing Jessica's ideas about effective teaching and I think everyone can learn something from them. You can download the episode ...
2022-Sep-06
Ethics of Academia (10) - Jesse Stommel
Is grading unethical? Coercive and competitive? Should we replace grading with something else? In this podcast I chat to Jesse Stommel, one of the foremost proponents of 'ungrading'. Jesse is a faculty member of the writing program at the University of Denver and is the founder of the Hybrid Pedagogy journal. We talk about the problem with traditional grading systems, the idea of ungrading, and how to create communities of respect in the classroom. You can download the episode here or listen below. You can ...
2022-Aug-26
Ethics of Academia (9) - Jason Brennan
In this episode I talk to Jason Brennan. Jason is a Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He is a prolific and productive scholar, having published over 20 books and 70 articles in the past decade or so. His research focuses on the intersections between politics, economics and philosophy. He has written quite a bit about the moral failures and conundrums of higher education, which makes him an ideal guest for ...
2022-Aug-17
Ethics of Academia (8) - Zena Hitz
In this episode I chat to Zena Hitz. Zena is currently a tutor at St John's College. She is a classicist and author of the book Lost in Thought. We have wide-ranging conversation about losing faith in academia, the dubious value of scholarship, the importance of learning, and the risks inherent in teaching. I learned a lot talking to Zena and found her perspective on the role of academics and educators to be enlightening. You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe the podcast ...
2022-Jul-25
Ethics of Academia (7) - Aaron Rabinowitz
In this episode I chat to Aaron Rabinowitz. Aaron is a veteran podcaster and philosopher. He hosts the Embrace the Void and Philosophers in Space podcasts. He is currently doing a PhD in the philosophy of education at Rutgers University. Aaron is particularly interested in the problem of moral luck and how it should affect our approach to education. This was a fun conversation. Stay tuned for the Schopenhauer thought experiment around the 40 minute mark! You can download the episode here or listen below. Yo...
2022-Jul-20
Ethics of Academia (6) - Helen de Cruz
In this episode I chat to Helen de Cruz. Helen is the Danforth Chair in Humanities at the University of St. Louis. Helen has a diverse set of interests and outputs. Her research focuses on the philosophy of belief formation, but she also does a lot of professional and public outreach, writes science fiction, and plays the lute. If that wasn't impressive enough, she is also a very talented illustrator/artist, as can be seen from her book Philosophy Illustrated. We have a wide-ranging conversation about the e...
2022-Jul-12
Ethics of Academia (5) - Brian Earp
In this episode I chat to Brian Earp. Brian is a Senior Research Fellow with the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics in Oxford. He is a prolific researcher and writer in psychology and applied ethics. We talk a lot about how Brian ended up where he is, the value of applied research and the importance of connecting research to the real world. You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe the podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon or whatever your preferred service might be. #mc...
2022-Jul-05
Ethics of Academia (4) - Justin Weinberg
In this episode of the Ethics of Academia, I chat to Justin Weinberg, Associate Professor of Philosophy at University of South Carolina. Justin researches ethical and social philosophy, as well as metaphilosophy. He is also the editor of the popular Daily Nous blog and has, as a result, developed an interest in many of the moral dimensions of philosophical academia. As a result, our conversation traverses a wide territory, from the purpose of philosophical research to the ethics of grading. You can download...
2022-Jun-28
Ethics of Academia (3) - Regina Rini
In this episode I talk to Regina Rini, Canada Research Chair at York University in Toronto. Regina has a background in neuroscience and cognitive science but now works primarily in moral philosophy. She has the distinction of writing a lot of philosophy for the public through her columns for the Time Literary Supplement and the value of this becomes a major theme of our conversation.You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Apple, Spotify and other podcasting services. #mc...
2022-Jun-20
Ethics of Academia (2) with Michael Cholbi
This is the second episode in my short series on The Ethics of Academia. In this episode I chat to Michael Cholbi, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. We reflect on the value of applied ethical research and the right approach to teaching. Michael has thought quite a lot about the ethics of work, in general, and the ethics of teaching and grading in particular. So those become central themes in our conversation. You can download the podcast here or listen below. You can also subscribe on ...
2022-Jun-15
The Ethics of Academia Podcast (Episode 1 with Sven Nyholm)
I have been reflecting on the ethics of academic life for some time. I've written several articles about it over the years. These have focused on the ethics of grading, student-teacher relationships, academic career choice, and the value of teaching (among other things). I've only scratched the surface. It seems to me that academic life is replete with ethical dilemmas and challenges. Some systematic reflection on and discussion of those ethical challenges would seem desirable. Obviously, there is a fair bi...
2022-Jun-09
98 - The Psychology of Human-Robot Interactions
How easily do we anthropomorphise robots? Do we see them as moral agents or, even, moral patients? Can we dehumanise them? These are some of the questions addressed in this episode with my guests, Dennis Küster and Aleksandra Świderska. Dennis is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bremen. Aleksandra is a senior researcher at the University of Warsaw. They have worked together on a number of studies about how humans perceive and respond to robots. We discuss several of their joint studies in this...
2022-Apr-05
97 - The Perils of Predictive Policing (& Automated Decision-Making)
One particularly important social institution is the police force, who are increasingly using technological tools to help efficiently and effectively deploy policing resources. I’ve covered criticisms of these tools in the past, but in this episode, my guest Daniel Susser has some novel perspectives to share on this topic, as well as some broader reflections on how humans can relate to machines in social decision-making. This one was a lot of fun and covered a lot of ground. You can download the episode her...
2021-Dec-01
96 - How Does Technology Mediate Our Morals?
It is common to think that technology is morally neutral. “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people’ - as the typical gun lobby argument goes. But is this really the right way to think about technology? Could it be that technology is not so neutral as we might suppose? These are questions I explore today with my guest Olya Kudina. Olya is an ethicist of technology focusing on the dynamic interaction between values and technologies. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology...
2021-Nov-09
95 - The Psychology of the Moral Circle
I was raised in the tradition of believing that everyone is of equal moral worth. But when I scrutinise my daily practices, I don’t think I can honestly say that I act as if everyone is of equal moral worth. The idea that some people belong within the circle of moral concern and some do not is central to many moral systems. But what affects the dynamics of the moral circle? How does it contract and expand? Can it expand indefinitely? In this episode I discuss these questions with Joshua Rottman. Josh is an ...
2021-Nov-01
94 - Robot Friendship and Hatred
Can we move beyond the Aristotelian account of friendship when thinking about our relationships with robots? Can we hate robots? In this episode, I talk to Helen Ryland about these topics. Helen is a UK-based philosopher. She completed her PhD in Philosophy in 2020 at the University of Birmingham. She now works as an Associate Lecturer for The Open University. Her work examines human-robot relationships, video game ethics, and the personhood and moral status of marginal cases of human rights (e.g., subjects...
2021-Jul-19
93 - Will machines impede moral progress?
Thomas Sinclair (left), Ben Kenward (right) Lots of people are worried about the ethics of AI. One particular area of concern is whether we should program machines to follow existing normative/moral principles when making decisions. But social moral values change over time. Should machines not be designed to allow for such changes? If machines are programmed to follow our current values will they impede moral progress? In this episode, I talk to Ben Kenward and Thomas Sinclair about this issue. Ben is a Sen...
2021-Jul-09
92 - The Ethics of Virtual Worlds
Are virtual worlds free from the ethical rules of ordinary life? Do they generate their own ethical codes? How do gamers and game designers address these issues? These are the questions that I explore in this episode with my guest Lucy Amelia Sparrow. Lucy is a PhD Candidate in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on ethics and multiplayer digital games, with other interests in virtual reality and hybrid boardgames. Lucy is a tutor in game design and an academic ed...
2021-Jun-30
91 - Rights for Robots, Animals and Nature?
Should robots have rights? How about chimpanzees? Or rivers? Many people ask these questions individually, but few people have asked them all together at the same time. In this episode, I talk to a man who has. Josh Gellers is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of North Florida, a Fulbright Scholar to Sri Lanka, a Research Fellow of the Earth System Governance Project, and Core Team Member of the Global Network for Human Rights and the E...
2021-Apr-28
90 - The Future of Identity
What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be you? Philosophers, psychologists and sociologists all seem to agree that your identity is central to how you think of yourself and how you engage with others. But how are emerging technologies changing how we enact and constitute our identities? That's the subject matter of this podcast with Tracey Follows. Tracy is a professional futurist. She runs a consultancy firm called Futuremade. She is a regular writer and speaker on futurism. She has appeared o...
2021-Mar-26
89 - Is Morality All About Cooperation?
What are the origins and dynamics of human morality? Is morality, at root, an attempt to solve basic problems of cooperation? What implications does this have for the future? In this episode, I chat to Dr Oliver Scott Curry about these questions. We discuss, in particular, his theory of morality as cooperation (MAC). Dr Curry is Research Director for Kindlab, at kindness.org. He is also a Research Affiliate at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford, and a Research Associate ...
2021-Feb-26
88 - The Ethics of Social Credit Systems
Should we use technology to surveil, rate and punish/reward all citizens in a state? Do we do it anyway? In this episode I discuss these questions with Wessel Reijers, focusing in particular on the lessons we can learn from the Chinese Social Credit System. Wessel is a postdoctoral Research Associate at the European University Institute, working in the ERC project “BlockchainGov”, which looks into the legal and ethical impacts of distributed governance. His research focuses on the philosophy and ethics of t...
2020-Dec-23
87 - AI and the Value Alignment Problem
How do we make sure that an AI does the right thing? How could we do this when we ourselves don't even agree on what the right thing might be? In this episode, I talk to Iason Gabriel about these questions. Iason is a political theorist and ethicist currently working as a Research Scientist at DeepMind. His research focuses on the moral questions raised by artificial intelligence. His recent work addresses the challenge of value alignment, responsible innovation, and human rights. He has also been a promine...
2020-Dec-15
86 - Are Video Games Immoral?
Have you ever played Hitman? Grand Theft Auto? Call of Duty? Did you ever question the moral propriety of what you did in those games? In this episode I talk to Sebastian Ostritsch about the ethics of video games. Sebastian is an Assistant Prof. (well, technically, he is a Wissenschaftlicher mitarbeiter but it's like an Assistant Prof) of Philosophy based at Stuttgart University in Germany. He has the rare distinction of being both an expert in Hegel and the ethics of computer games. He is the author of Heg...
2020-Oct-27
85 - The Internet and the Tyranny of Perceived Opinion
  Are we losing our liberty as a result of digital technologies and algorithmic power? In particular, might algorithmically curated filter bubbles be creating a world that encourages both increased polarisation and increased conformity at the same time? In today’s podcast, I discuss these issues with Henrik Skaug Sætra. Henrik is a political scientist working in the Faculty of Business, Languages and Social Science at Østfold University College in Norway. He has a particular interest in political theor...
2020-Oct-20
84 - Social Media, COVID-19 and Value Change
Do our values change over time? What role do emotions and technology play in altering our values? In this episode I talk to Steffen Steinert (PhD) about these issues. Steffen is a postdoctoral researcher on the Value Change project at TU Delft. His research focuses on the philosophy of technology, ethics of technology, emotions, and aesthetics. He has published papers on roboethics, art and technology, and philosophy of science. In his previous research he also explored philosophical issues related to humor...
2020-Oct-10
83 - Privacy is Power
Are you being watched, tracked and traced every minute of the day? Probably. The digital world thrives on surveillance. What should we do about this? My guest today is Carissa Véliz. Carissa is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and the Institute of Ethics in AI at Oxford University. She is also a Tutorial Fellow at Hertford College Oxford. She works on privacy, technology, moral and political philosophy and public policy. She has also been a guest on this podcast on two previous occasions....
2020-Sep-23
82 - What should we do about facial recognition technology?
  Facial recognition technology has seen its fair share of both media and popular attention in the past 12 months. The runs the gamut from controversial uses by governments and police forces, to coordinated campaigns to ban or limit its use. What should we do about it? In this episode, I talk to Brenda Leong about this issue. Brenda is Senior Counsel and Director of Artificial Intelligence and Ethics at Future of Privacy Forum. She manages the FPF portfolio on biometrics, particularly facial recognitio...
2020-Sep-18
81 - Consumer Credit, Big Tech and AI Crime
In today's episode, I talk to Nikita Aggarwal about the legal and regulatory aspects of AI and algorithmic governance. We focus, in particular, on three topics: (i) algorithmic credit scoring; (ii) the problem of 'too big to fail' tech platforms and (iii) AI crime. Nikita is a DPhil (PhD) candidate at the Faculty of Law at Oxford, as well as a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute's Digital Ethics Lab. Her research examines the legal and ethical challenges due to emerging, data-driven technolo...
2020-Aug-13
80 - Bias, Algorithms and Criminal Justice
Lots of algorithmic tools are now used to support decision-making in the criminal justice system. Many of them are criticised for being biased. What should be done about this? In this episode, I talk to Chelsea Barabas about this very question. Chelsea is a PhD candidate at MIT, where she examines the spread of algorithmic decision making tools in the US criminal legal system. She works with interdisciplinary researchers, government officials and community organizers to unpack and transform mainstream narra...
2020-Aug-05
79 - Is There A Techno-Responsibility Gap?
  What happens if an autonomous machine does something wrong? Who, if anyone, should be held responsible for the machine's actions? That's the topic I discuss in this episode with Daniel Tigard. Daniel Tigard is a Senior Research Associate in the Institute for History & Ethics of Medicine, at the Technical University of Munich. His current work addresses issues of moral responsibility in emerging technology. He is the author of several papers on moral distress and responsibility in medical ethics a...
2020-Jul-27
78 - Humans and Robots: Ethics, Agency and Anthropomorphism
    Are robots like humans? Are they agents? Can we have relationships with them? These are just some of the questions I explore with today's guest, Sven Nyholm. Sven is an assistant professor of philosophy at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His research focuses on ethics, particularly the ethics of technology. He is a friend of the show, having appeared twice before. In this episode, we are talking about his recent, great, book Humans and Robots: Ethics, Agency and Anthropomorphism.  ...
2020-Jul-20
77 - Should AI be Explainable?
If an AI system makes a decision, should its reasons for making that decision be explainable to you? In this episode, I chat to Scott Robbins about this issue. Scott is currently completing his PhD in the ethics of artificial intelligence at the Technical University of Delft. He has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from California State University, Chico and an M.Sc. in Ethics of Technology from the University of Twente. He is a founding member of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics and a member of the ...
2020-Apr-18
76 - Surveillance, Privacy and COVID-19
How do we get back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic? One suggestion is that we use increased amounts of surveillance and tracking to identify and isolate infected and at-risk persons. While this might be a valid public health strategy it does raise some tricky ethical questions. In this episode I talk to Carissa Véliz about these questions. Carissa is a Research Fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at Oxford and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, also at Oxford. She is the edito...
2020-Apr-15
75 - The Vital Ethical Contexts of Coronavirus
There is a lot of data and reporting out there about the COVID 19 pandemic. How should we make sense of that data? Do the media narratives misrepresent or mislead us as to the true risks associated with the disease? Have governments mishandled the response? Can they be morally blamed for what they have done. These are the questions I discuss with my guest on today's show: David Shaw. David is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Basel and an Assistant Professor at ...
2020-Apr-10
74 - How to Understand COVID 19
I'm still thinking a lot about the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode I turn away from some of the 'classical' ethical questions about the disease and talk more about how to understand it and form reasonable beliefs about the public health information that has been issued in response to it. To help me do this I will be talking to Katherine Furman. Katherine is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Liverpool. Her research interests are at the intersection of Philosophy and Health Policy. She is inter...
2020-Apr-03
73 - The Ethics of Healthcare Prioritisation during COVID 19
We have a limited number of ventilators. Who should get access to them? In this episode I talk to Lars Sandman. Lars is a Professor of Healthcare Ethics at Linköping University, Sweden. Lars’s research involves studying ethical aspects of distributing scarce resources within health care and studying and developing methods for ethical analyses of health-care procedures. We discuss the ethics of healthcare prioritisation in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, focusing specifically on some principles Lars, alo...
2020-Mar-30
72 - Grief in the Time of a Pandemic
Lots of people are dying right now. But people die all the time. How should we respond to all this death? In this episode I talk to Michael Cholbi about the philosophy of grief. Michael Cholbi is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He has published widely in ethical theory, practical ethics, and the philosophy of death and dying. We discus the nature of grief, the ethics of grief and how grief might change in the midst of a pandemic. You can download the episode here or listen below. You...
2020-Mar-25
71 - COVID 19 and the Ethics of Infectious Disease Control
As nearly half the world's population is now under some form of quarantine or lockdown, it seems like an apt time to consider the ethics of infectious disease control measures of this sort. In this episode, I chat to Jonathan Pugh and Tom Douglas, both of whom are Senior Research Fellows at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics in Oxford, about this very issue. We talk about the moral principles that should apply to our evaluation of infectious disease control and some of the typical objections to it. Thro...
2020-Mar-17
70 - Ethics in the time of Corona
Like almost everyone else, I have been obsessing over the novel coronavirus pandemic for the past few months. Given the dramatic escalation in the pandemic in the past week, and the tricky ethical questions it raises for everyone, I thought it was about time to do an episode about it. So I reached out to people on Twitter and Jeff Sebo kindly volunteered himself to join me for a conversation. Jeff is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Affiliated Professor of Bioethics, Medical Ethics, ...
2020-Feb-24
69 - Wood on Sustainable Superabundance
In this episode I talk to David Wood. David is currently the chair of the London Futurists group and a full-time futurist speaker, analyst, commentator, and writer. He studied the philosophy of science at Cambridge University. He has a background in designing, architecting, implementing, supporting, and avidly using smart mobile devices. He is the author or lead editor of nine books including, "RAFT 2035", "The Abolition of Aging", "Transcending Politics", and "Sustainable Superabundance". We chat about the...
2020-Feb-06
68- Earp on the Ethics of Love Drugs
In this episode I talk (again) to Brian Earp. Brian is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy at Yale University and The Hastings Center, and a Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. Brian has diverse research interests in ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of science. His research has been covered in Nature, Popular Science, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Atlantic, New Scientist, and other major outlets. We tal...
2019-Dec-17
67 - Rini on Deepfakes and the Epistemic Backstop
In this episode I talk to Dr Regina Rini. Dr Rini currently teaches in the Philosophy Department at York University, Toronto where she holds the Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Moral and Social Cognition. She has a PhD from NYU and before coming to York in 2017 was an Assistant Professor / Faculty Fellow at the NYU Center for Bioethics, a postdoctoral research fellow in philosophy at Oxford University and a junior research fellow of Jesus College Oxford. We talk about the political and epistemologica...
2019-Dec-06
66 - Wong on Confucianism, Robots and Moral Deskilling
In this episode I talk to Dr Pak-Hang Wong. Pak is a philosopher of technology and works on ethical and political issues of emerging technologies. He is currently a research associate at the Universitat Hamburg. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Twente in 2012, and then held academic positions in Oxford and Hong Kong. In 2017, he joined the Research Group for Ethics in Information Technology, at the Department of Informatics, Universitat Hamburg. We talk about the robotic disruption o...
2019-Nov-22
65 - Vold on How We Can Extend Our Minds With AI
In this episode I talk to Dr Karina Vold. Karina is a philosopher of mind, cognition, and artificial intelligence. She works on the ethical and societal impacts of emerging technologies and their effects on human cognition. Dr Vold is currently a postdoctoral Research Associate at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Philosophy, and a Digital Charter Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. We talk about the ethics extended cognition and how it pertains to th...
2019-Nov-13
Mass Surveillance, Artificial Intelligence and New Legal Challenges
[This is the text of a talk I gave to the Irish Law Reform Commission Annual Conference in Dublin on the 13th of November 2018. You can listen to an audio version of this lecture here or using the embedded player above.] In the mid-19th century, a set of laws were created to address the menace that newly-invented automobiles and locomotives posed to other road users. One of the first such laws was the English The Locomotive Act 1865, which subsequently became known as the ‘Red Flag Act’. Under this act, any...
2019-Oct-15
Escaping Skinner's Box: AI and the New Era of Techno-Superstition
[The following is the text of a talk I delivered at the World Summit AI on the 10th October 2019. The talk is essentially a nugget taken from my new book Automation and Utopia. It's not an excerpt per se, but does look at one of the key arguments I make in the book. You can listen to the talk using the plugin above or download it here.]The science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke once formulated three “laws” for thinking about the future. The third law states that “any sufficiently advanced technology is ind...
2019-Oct-15
Assessing the Moral Status of Robots: A Shorter Defence of Ethical Behaviourism
[This is the text of a lecture that I delivered at Tilburg University on the 24th of September 2019. It was delivered as part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations for TILT (Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society). My friend and colleague Sven Nyholm was the discussant for the evening. The lecture is based on my longer academic article ‘Welcoming Robots into the Moral Circle: A Defence of Ethical Behaviourism’ but was written from scratch and presents some key arguments in a snappier and clearer f...
2019-Sep-19
#64 - Munthe on the Precautionary Principle and Existential Risk
In this episode I talk to Christian Munthe. Christian is a Professor of Practical Philosophy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He conducts research and expert consultation on ethics, value and policy issues arising in the intersection of health, science & technology, the environment and society. He is probably best-known for his work on the precautionary principle and its uses in ethical and policy debates. This was the central topic of his 2011 book The Price of Precaution and the Ethics of Risk...
2019-Aug-28
#63 - Reagle on the Ethics of Life Hacking
In this episode I talk to Joseph Reagle. Joseph is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University and a former fellow (in 1998 and 2010) and faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. He is the author of several books and papers about digital media and the social implications of digital technology. Our conversation focuses on his most recent book: Hacking Life: Systematized Living and its Discontents (MIT Press 2019). You can download the e...
2019-Jul-03
#62 - Häggström on AI Motivations and Risk Denialism
In this episode I talk to Olle Häggström. Olle is a professor of mathematical statistics at Chalmers University of Technology and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA) and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). Olle’s main research is in probability theory and statistical mechanics, but in recent years he has broadened his research interests to focus applied statistics, philosophy, climate science, artificial intelligence and social consequences of future technologies....
2019-Jun-20
#61 - Yampolskiy on Machine Consciousness and AI Welfare
In this episode I talk to Roman Yampolskiy. Roman is a Tenured Associate Professor in the department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science at the Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville. He is the founding and current director of the Cyber Security Lab and an author of many books and papers on AI security and ethics, including Artificial Superintelligence: a Futuristic Approach. We talk about how you might test for machine consciousness and the first steps towards a science of AI welfar...
2019-Jun-02
Epicureanism and the Problem of Premature Death (Audio Essay)
This audio essay looks at the Epicurean philosophy of death, focusing specifically on how they addressed the problem of premature death. The Epicureans believe that premature death is not a tragedy, provided it occurs after a person has attained the right state of pleasure. If you enjoy listening to these audio essays, and the other podcast episodes, you might consider rating and/or reviewing them on your preferred podcasting service.You can listen below or download here. You can also subscribe on Apple, St...
2019-May-20
#60 - Véliz on How to Improve Online Speech with Pseudonymity
In this episode I talk to Carissa Véliz. Carissa is a Research Fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities at the University of Oxford. She works on digital ethics, practical ethics more generally, political philosophy, and public policy. She is also the Director of the research programme 'Data, Privacy, and the Individual' at the IE's Center for the Governance of Change'. We talk about the problems with online speech and how to use pseudonymity to addr...
2019-May-09
#59 - Torres on Existential Risk, Omnicidal Agents and Superintelligence
In this episode I talk to Phil Torres. Phil is an author and researcher who primarily focuses on existential risk. He is currently a visiting researcher at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University. He has published widely on emerging technologies, terrorism, and existential risks, with articles appearing in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Futures, Erkenntnis, Metaphilosophy, Foresight, Journal of Future Studies, and the Journal of Evolution and Technology. He is the author...
2019-Apr-25
#58 - Neely on Augmented Reality, Ethics and Property Rights
In this episode I talk to Erica Neely. Erica is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ohio Northern University specializing in philosophy of technology and computer ethics. Her work focuses is on the ethical ramifications of emerging technologies. She has written a number of papers on 3D printing, the ethics of video games, robotics and augmented reality. We chat about the ethics of augmented reality, with a particular focus on property rights and the problems that arise when we blend virtual and physical...