Next talks in our Technology, Policy & Ethics Lecture Series:
20 April 2023
The Conscience of the Machine
Prof. John Sullins (Sonoma State Univ.) will discuss groundbreaking experiments that utilize the concept of inner speech found in psychology to create social robots with some glimmers of an ethical conscience. This talk is open to the public and will be held on Thurs, April 20 from 11:00a-12:00p in Building 08-123 (BioResource and Agricultural Engineering's main lecture hall). Please click here for a flyer.
11 March 2022
Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence
Prof. Stuart Russell (UC Berkeley) will discuss recent and expected developments in AI and their implications, both positive and negative, especially as AI capabilities will eventually exceed those of humans across a range of real-world-decision making scenarios. This talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, March 11 from 2:00-4:00p in Building 180-101 (Baker Center). Please click here for a flyer.
19 February 2019
When Social Media Companies, Research Ethics, and Human Rights Collide
Dr. Mary L. Gray (Microsoft Research; Indiana University) will offer a path forward for online-world building and studies, since traditional research ethics seems unable to account for the new issues that have been tripping up social media companies. This talk is open to the public and will be held on Tues, February 19 from 11:10a-12:30p in Building 7 (Advanced Technology Lab). Please click here or here for a flyer, as well as this for a pre-talk interview with the speaker.
3 May 2018
Predictive Policing and the Demands of Justice
Dr. Duncan Purves (University of Florida) will offer a qualified defense of using predictive algorithms in policing, though they could also violate the principle of equality before the law by exposing innocent members of geographically disadvantaged groups to greater risk of mistaken conviction. This talk is open to the public and will be held on Thurs, May 3 from 11:10a-12:00p in Building 180-114 (Warren J. Baker Center). Please click here for the flyer.
27 January 2017
Barbies, Pacemakers, and Everything in Between: Building a More Ethical Internet of Things
Irina Raicu (Internet Ethics Program Director at Santa Clara University's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics) will identify and discuss some questions to consider, as engineers and designers build connected things from toys to medical devices, to ensure that the “Internet of Things” promotes, rather than endangers, the good life. This talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, January 27 from 2:00-3:30p at Fisher Science Hall (Building 33-286). Please click here for the flyer.
22 January 2016
Human Enhancement Technologies and Disabilities
Prof. Ashley Shew (Science, Technology & Society Department at Virginia Tech) will give a talk on the mismatch between the promise of enhancement technologies and the reality for disabled persons at whom the technologies are often first aimed. This talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, January 22 from 11:00a-12:30p at Philips Hall (PAC, Building 06-124). Please click here for the flyer.
5 March 2015
8 February 2013
Ethics for Software/App Design
Prof. Shannon Vallor (philosophy department chair at Santa Clara University) will give a talk on ethics for app makers and software designers, as they confront difficult trade-offs among competing values, such as privacy, security, transparency, control, usability, cost and quality of user experience. This talk is open to the public and will be held on Thurs, March 5 from 4:00-5:30p at the Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATL, Building 07). Please click here for the flyer.
Food, Technology, and Ethics
Prof. Paul B. Thompson (Michigan State University's W. K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics) will give a special lecture on food, technology, and ethics. He will discuss three key problems in food ethics, which are connected in surprising and sometimes incompatible ways. This talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Feb 8 from 1:00-3:00p at Agricultural Engineering's main lecture hall (Building 08, Room 123). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.
23 May 2012
Robots, Privacy & Society
Ryan Calo, director of privacy and robotics research at Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, will talk about the challenge that robots (especially those with surveillance and recording capabilities) pose to privacy. He will also discuss legal and design solutions to this issue, which may help robotics realize its transformative potential in society.
This talk is open to the public and will be held on Wednesday, May 23 from 10:00a-12:00p at University Union's Chumash Auditorium (Building 65, Room 205: center stage). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release or here for the video.
13 May 2011
Ethics of Facebook
Prof. Anthony Beavers returns to discuss Facebook, since the social network has evolved much in the last two years. Given the site's growing social and political power, Dr. Beavers will explore what the company intends to, or can, do with it. From the user’s perspective, Facebook is just a site for connecting with friends, “friends”, and family. But what else is going on, particularly with respect to our values? The talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, May 13, from 1:00-2:30p at Philips Hall (Building 6, Room 124). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.
4 March 2011
Ethics of Robots and Sex
Dr. John Sullins, ethics professor at Sonoma State Univ., will talk about the possibility of sex-robots and the clever ways engineers are manipulating human emotions, such as our tendency to anthropomorphize objects. Are there moral limits to exploiting human psychology, and is there more to love than satisfying physical desires?
This talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, March 4, from 2:00-3:30p at Fisher Science Hall (Building 33, Room 286). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.
4 February 2011
New Military Technologies and the Resort of War
US Naval Academy professor George R. Lucas, Jr. will talk about a pressing concern with novel military technologies—that robotics, cyberweapons, and so on are making war easier to engage in, rather than saving it as a last resort. But how exactly should we understand the "principle of last resort"? This will determine how high (or low) we set the threshold for when we're morally allowed to wage war. The talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, February 4, from 2:00-3:30p at Philips Hall (Building 6, Room 124). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.
12 March 2010
Ethics of Neuroscience
Stanford law professor Hank Greely will talk about the emerging field of neuroscience and six key areas in which it will challenge society: prediction, mind-reading, responsibility, consciousness, treatment, and enhancement. He is also co-director of the Law & Neuroscience Project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, and director of Stanford's Center for Law and the Biosciences. The talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, March 12, from 2:00-3:30p at Philips Hall (Building 6, Room 124). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.
4 May 2009
Ethics of Facebook
Dr. Anthony Beavers, philosophy professor at University of Evansville and currently a visiting scholar at Indiana University's cognitive science program, will discuss some ethical issues related to Facebook, beyond the usual concerns of privacy, employer scrutiny, and so on. These new issues include: whether Facebook redefines friendship in helpful or harmful ways; how its news feed influences which relationships will develop or not; and more. The talk is open to the public and will be held on Monday, May 4, 2009, from 2-3:30p in (Graphic Arts) Building 26, Room 103. Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.
10 April 2009
Ethics of Cyberweapons
Dr. Neil Rowe, professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, will explain why using cyberweapons might result in war crimes and how we might modify cyberweapons to avoid these ethical landmines. He will also discuss how we might prosecute and punish cyberwar crimes, which include forensics, interventions, cyberblockades, revelation of secrets, and reparations. The talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, April 10, from 11-12:30p at Philips Hall (Building 6, Room 124). Please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.
6 February 2009
NSF & the New Research Ethics Requirement
We are launching our Technology & Ethics Lecture Series with a highly relevant and practical talk about a new research-ethics training requirement mandated by the America COMPETES Act. This requirement affects all researchers seeking funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Dr. Tom Powers of the University of Delaware will speak about his work and the challenges in formulating and complying with such policy. The talk is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Feb. 6, from 12-1p at Fisher Science Building 33, Room 286. For more details, please click here for the flyer or here for the press release.
If you will be in the San Luis Obispo area and are interested in giving a talk at Cal Poly, please contact:
Patrick Lin, Ph.D., Director
palin [at] calpoly.edu