PHI300.1 Robot Ethics: Machines, Automation, and Values (Fall, Spring)

This course deals with the new and challenging questions surrounding robot ethics, AI, and automation, linked to philosophy of technology. As technology continues to develop at high speed, questions such as machine autonomy, ethical rules, and job losses will become increasingly central to any future that we will build. Our future will be significantly shaped by how we design and use our machines.

Robot ethics is a new and dynamic field, with implications for a wide range of disciplines and practices. Thinking clearly about the ethical implications of the machines of our own creation is both a fascinating exercise in its own right, and a requirement for attempting to strike a balance between various technological and social forces, such as innovation, social ethics, and our general conception of technology. In a world in which, according to many estimates, at least half of our current jobs will be partially or fully automated, we had best consider the full ethical and philosophical implications of the world that we have already entered. Will robots be our controlling masters, or will they help us to build a brave new world of leisure and self-development?

This course may also be registered under IST 300.1.

Department: Philosophy

Location: London

Semesters: Fall, Spring

Credits: 3