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Robots, humans, and the ethics of AI
17th May 2017
Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics have been making the headlines for some time now. Articles in mainstream media and features in prime-time television keep pouring in. There is clearly a growing interest in humanoid robots and the varied issues raised by their interactions with humans.
The popularity of films such as Ex Machina, Chappie, I-Robot and more recently Her reveal an awareness of the challenges hyper-intelligent machines are already beginning to pose to complex issues such as human identity, the meaning of empathy, love and care.
What are conspicuously lacking from the contemporary (and still nascent) debate are the religious and theological voices. Secular utopian progressivism and a utilitarian narrative are dominant, while the register ranges from techno-optimism to sci-fi dystopianism. In light of this, join us for an evening of conversation on some of the ethical and existential challenges of AI/robotics with two of the leading thinkers in this area:
Prof John Wyatt is Professor of Ethics and Perinatology at University College London and co-Principal Investigator for a research project based at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, University of Cambridge, which explores the impact of advances in robotics and AI technology on human identity and self-understanding. He lectures widely on Christian ethics and is now concentrating on teaching and research on the ethical dilemmas raised by advances in technology.
Dr. Beth Singler (Cantab) is a Research Associate at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, University of Cambridge, working on the Human Identity in an age of Nearly-Human Machines project co-led by Professor John Wyatt and Professor Peter Robinson. Her research explores popular and religious re-imaginings of science and technology. She is an experienced social and digital anthropologist of New Religious Movements, and her recently completed PhD thesis is the first in-depth ethnography of the ‘Indigo Children’ - a New Age re-conception of both children and adults using the language of evolution and spirituality.
Wednesday 17th May 2017
77 Great Peter Street
6.30pm for 7pm start
Theos Students, Friends and Associates: Free
General admission: £7.00 + £0.89 administration fee
Concessions and Students: £5.00 + £0.80 administration fee
Book tickets for this event here
NB: A briefing paper on the topic will be circulated via email a week before the event to all participants. To facilitate an informed conversation, you are strongly encouraged to read this before attending.