Department of English

University of Toronto

Ethics of AI in Context

Event date: Tuesday, November 13, 2018, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Location: Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto, 200 Larkin

Kill-Switch: The Ethics of the Halting Problem
Two centuries of dystopian thought consistently imagined how technologies “out of control” can threaten humanity: with obsolescence at best, with violent systemic destruction at worst. Yet current advances in neural networked machine learning herald the advent of a new ethical question for this established history of critique. If a genuinely conscious form of artificial intelligence arises, it will be wired from its inception as guided by certain incentives, one of which might eventually be its own self-preservation. How can the tradition of philosophical ethics approach this emerging form of intelligence? How might we anticipate the ethical crisis that emerges when machines we cannot turn off cross the existential threshold, becoming beings we should not turn off?

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