#61 – Yampolskiy on Machine Consciousness and AI Welfare


Roman Yampolskiy

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 welfare.

You can listen below or download here. You can also subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Stitcher and a variety of other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here).

Show Notes

  • 0:00 - Introduction
  • 2:30 - Artificial minds versus Artificial Intelligence
  • 6:35 - Why talk about machine consciousness now when it seems far-fetched?
  • 8:55 - What is phenomenal consciousness?
  • 11:04 - Illusions as an insight into phenomenal consciousness
  • 18:22 - How to create an illusion-based test for machine consciousness
  • 23:58 - Challenges with operationalising the test
  • 31:42 - Does AI already have a minimal form of consciousness?
  • 34:08 - Objections to the proposed test and next steps
  • 37:12 - Towards a science of AI welfare
  • 40:30 - How do we currently test for animal and human welfare
  • 44:10 - Dealing with the problem of deception
  • 47:00 - How could we test for welfare in AI?
  • 52:39 - If an AI can suffer, do we have a duty not to create it?
  • 56:48 - Do people take these ideas seriously in computer science?
  • 58:08 - What next?

Relevant Links




Lab Culture Ep. 19: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha- Storytelling and the Flint Water Crisis

Michelle Forman interviewing Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, author of What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, joins us for an interview about the importance of storytelling in public health. Did Dr. Mona’s successful use of narratives allow Flint’s story to be as resilient as the people who lived it?

Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Links

Is water in Flint safe to drink? It’s not just a question of chemistry. [Op-ed by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha]

What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City

The post Lab Culture Ep. 19: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha- Storytelling and the Flint Water Crisis appeared first on APHL Lab Blog.

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, Stitcher or a range of other services (the RSS feed is here).



I've written lots about the philosophy of death over the years. Here are some relevant links if you would like to do further reading on the topic:






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, Stitcher or a range of other services (the RSS feed is here).



I've written lots about the philosophy of death over the years. Here are some relevant links if you would like to do further reading on the topic:






#60 – Véliz on How to Improve Online Speech with Pseudonymity


Carissa Veliz

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 address them.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and a variety of other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here).

 Show Notes

  • 0:00 - Introduction
  • 1:25 - The problems with online speech
  • 4:55 - Anonymity vs Identifiability
  • 9:10 - The benefits of anonymous speech
  • 16:12 - The costs of anonymous speech - The online Ring of Gyges
  • 23:20 - How digital platforms mediate speech and make things worse
  • 28:00 - Is speech more trustworthy when the speaker is identifiable?
  • 30:50 - Solutions that don't work
  • 35:46 - How pseudonymity could address the problems with online speech
  • 41:15 - Three forms of pseudonymity and how they should be used
  • 44:00 - Do we need an organisation to manage online pseudonyms?
  • 49:00 - Thoughts on the Journal of Controversial Ideas
  • 54:00 - Will people use pseudonyms to deceive us?
  • 57:30 - How pseudonyms could address the issues with un-PC speech
  • 1:02:04 - Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future of online speech?
 

Relevant Links




#59 – Torres on Existential Risk, Omnicidal Agents and Superintelligence

Phil Torres

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 of several books, including most recently Morality, Foresight, and Human Flourishing: An Introduction to Existential Risks. We talk about the problem of apocalyptic terrorists, the proliferation dual-use technology and the governance problem that arises as a result. This is both a fascinating and potentially terrifying discussion.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and a variety of other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here).

Show Notes

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 3:14 – What is existential risk? Why should we care?
  • 8:34 – The four types of agential risk/omnicidal terrorists
  • 17:51 – Are there really omnicidal terror agents?
  • 20:45 – How dual-use technology give apocalyptic terror agents the means to their desired ends
  • 27:54 – How technological civilisation is uniquely vulernable to omnicidal agents
  • 32:00 – Why not just stop creating dangerous technologies?
  • 36:47 – Making the case for mass surveillance
  • 41:08 – Why mass surveillance must be asymmetrical
  • 45:02 – Mass surveillance, the problem of false positives and dystopian governance
  • 56:25 – Making the case for benevolent superintelligent governance
  • 1:02:51 – Why advocate for something so fantastical?
  • 1:06:42 – Is an anti-tech solution any more fantastical than a benevolent AI solution?
  • 1:10:20 – Does it all just come down to values: are you a techno-optimist or a techno-pessimist?

Relevant Links

 

#58 – Neely on Augmented Reality, Ethics and Property Rights


erica neely

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 reality together in augmented reality platforms.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and a variety of other services (the RSS feed is here).



Show Notes

  • 0:00 - Introduction
  • 1:00 - What is augmented reality (AR)?
  • 5:55 - Is augmented reality overhyped?
  • 10:36 - What are property rights?
  • 14:22 - Justice and autonomy in the protection of property rights
  • 16:47 - Are we comfortable with property rights over virtual spaces/objects?
  • 22:30 - The blending problem: why augmented reality poses a unique problem for the protection of property rights
  • 27:00 - The different modalities of augmented reality: single-sphere or multi-sphere?
  • 30:45 - Scenario 1: Single-sphere AR with private property
  • 34:28 - Scenario 2: Multi-sphere AR with private property
  • 37:30 - Other ethical problems in scenario 2
  • 43:25 - Augmented reality vs imagination
  • 47:15 - Public property as contested space
  • 49:38 - Scenario 3: Multi-sphere AR with public property
  • 54:30 - Scenario 4: Single-sphere AR with public property
  • 1:00:28 - Must the owner of the single-sphere AR platform be regulated as a public utility/entity?
  • 1:02:25 - Other important ethical issues that arise from the use of AR

Relevant Links

 

Lab Culture Ep. 18: Alaska state virology lab — Freezing temps, wild animals, and extremely dedicated staff

Lab Culture Ep. 18: Alaska state virology lab -- Freezing temps, wild animals, and extremely dedicated staff | www.APHLblog.org

Every area of our country is unique in ways that make public health laboratory work vary from one state or locality to another. But just as Alaska is different from the lower-48 states in most ways, their public health lab’s work is too. Have you ever considered all the ways it might be different to work in the Alaska state lab in Fairbanks? This episode of Lab Culture reveals some of the many ways in which working in Alaska is unlike anywhere else.

Listen here, in iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.


Jayme Parker
Manager, Virology Unit, Alaska State Public Health Laboratory (Fairbanks)

Nisha Fowler
Microbiologist, Alaska State Public Health Laboratory (Fairbanks)

Links:

Virology Unit of the Alaska State Public Health Laboratory

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities — FAQs

Alaska’s permafrost/ice lenses

 

 

The post Lab Culture Ep. 18: Alaska state virology lab — Freezing temps, wild animals, and extremely dedicated staff appeared first on APHL Lab Blog.

Understanding Hume on Miracles (Audio Essay)




This audio essay is an Easter special. It focuses on David Hume's famous argument about miracles. First written over 250 years, Hume's essay 'Of Miracles' purports to provide an "everlasting check" against all kinds of "superstitious delusion". But is this true? Does Hume give us good reason to reject the testimonial proof provided on behalf of historical miracles? Maybe not, but he certainly provides a valuable framework for thinking critically about this issue.

You can download the audio here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Apple, Stitcher and a variety of other podcatching services (the RSS feed is here).



This audio essay is based on an earlier written essay (available here). If you are interested in further reading about the topic, I recommend the following essays:







#57 – Sorgner on Nietzschean Transhumanism


Stefan Lorenz Sorgner

In this episode I talk Stefan Lorenz Sorgner. Stefan teaches philosophy at John Cabot University in Rome. He is director and co-founder of the Beyond Humanism Network, Fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), Research Fellow at the Ewha Institute for the Humanities at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, and Visting Fellow at the Ethics Centre of the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena. His main fields of research are Nietzsche, the philosophy of music, bioethics and meta-, post- and transhumanism. We talk about his case for a Nietzschean form of transhumanism.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and a variety of other podcasting apps (the RSS feed is here).


Show Notes

  • 0:00 - Introduction
  • 2:12 - Recent commentary on Stefan's book Ubermensch
  • 3:41 - Understanding transhumanism - getting away from the "humanism on steroids" ideal
  • 10:33 - Transhumanism as an attitude of experimentation and not a destination?
  • 13:34 - Have we always been transhumanists?
  • 16:51 - Understanding Nietzsche
  • 22:30 - The Will to Power in Nietzschean philosophy
  • 26:41 - How to understand "power" in Nietzschean terms
  • 30:40 - The importance of perspectivalism and the abandonment of universal truth
  • 36:40 - Is it possible for a Nietzschean to consistently deny absolute truth?
  • 39:55 - The idea of the Ubermensch (Overhuman)
  • 45:48 - Making the case for a Nietzschean form of transhumanism
  • 51:00 - What about the negative associations of Nietzsche?
  • 1:02:17 - The problem of moral relativism for transhumanists

Relevant Links