Episode #43 – Elder on Friendship, Robots and Social Media

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 In this episode I talk to Alexis Elder. Alexis is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Her research focuses on ethics, emerging technologies, social philosophy, metaphysics (especially social ontology), and philosophy of mind. She draws on ancient philosophy - primarily Chinese and Greek - in order to think about current problems. She is the author of a number of articles on the philosophy of friendship, and her book Friendship, Robots, and Social Media: False Friends and Second Selves, came out in January 2018. We talk about all things to do with friendship, social media and social robots.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher (the RSS feed is here).


Show Notes

  • 0:00 - Introduction
  • 1:37 - Aristotle's theory of friendship
  • 5:00 - The idea of virtue/character friendship
  • 10:14 - The enduring appeal of Aristotle's account of friendship
  • 12: 30 - Does social media corrode friendship?
  • 16:35 - The Publicity Objection to online friendships
  • 20:40 - The Superficiality Objection to online friendships
  • 25:23 - The Commercialisation/Contamination Objection to online friendships
  • 30:34 - Deception in online friendships
  • 35:18 - Must we physically interact with our friends?
  • 39:25 - Social robots as friends (with a specific focus on elderly populations and those on the autism spectrum)
  • 46:50 - Can you be friends with a robot? The counterfeit currency analogy
  • 50:55 - Does the analogy hold up?
  • 56:13 - Why are robotic friends assumed to be fake?
  • 1:03:50 - Does the 'falseness' of robotic friends depend on the type of friendship we are interested in?
  • 1:06:38 - What about companion animals?
  • 1:08:35 - Where is this debate going?
 

Relevant Links




Episode #42 – Earp on Psychedelics and Moral Enhancement

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 In this episode I talk to Brian Earp. Brian is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy at Yale University and The Hastings Center, and a Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. Brian has diverse research interests in ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of science. His research has been covered in Nature, Popular Science, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Atlantic, New Scientist, and other major outlets. We talk about moral enhancement and the potential use of psychedelics as a form of moral enhancement.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher (the RSS feed is here).


Show Notes

  • 0:00 - Introduction
  • 1:53 - Why psychedelics and moral enhancement?
  • 5:07 - What is moral enhancement anyway? Why are people excited about it?
  • 7:12 - What are the methods of moral enhancement?
  • 10:18 - Why is Brian sceptical about the possibility of moral enhancement?
  • 14:16 - So is it an empty idea?
  • 17:58 - What if we adopt an 'extended' concept of enhancement, i.e. beyond the biomedical?
  • 26:12 - Can we use psychedelics to overcome the dilemma facing the proponent of moral enhancement?
  • 29:07 - What are psychedelic drugs? How do they work on the brain?
  • 34:26 - Are your experiences whilst on psychedelic drugs conditional on your cultural background?
  • 37:39 - Dissolving the ego and the feeling of oneness
  • 41:36 - Are psychedelics the new productivity hack?
  • 43:48 - How can psychedelics enhance moral behaviour?
  • 47:36 - How can a moral philosopher make sense of these effects?
  • 51:12 - The MDMA case study
  • 58:38 - How about MDMA assisted political negotiations?
  • 1:02:11 - Could we achieve the same outcomes without drugs?
  • 1:06:52 - Where should the research go from here?

Relevant Links




Episode #41 – Binns on Fairness in Algorithmic Decision-Making

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In this episode I talk to Reuben Binns. Reuben is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Computer Science in Oxford University. His research focuses on both the technical, ethical and legal aspects of privacy, machine learning and algorithmic decision-making. We have a detailed and informative discussion (for me at any rate!) about recent debates about algorithmic bias and discrimination, and how they could be informed by the philosophy of egalitarianism.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes (the RSS feed is here).


 

Show notes

  • 0:00 - Introduction
  • 1:46 - What is algorithmic decision-making?
  • 4:20 - Isn't all decision-making algorithmic?
  • 6:10 - Examples of unfairness in algorithmic decision-making: The COMPAS debate
  • 12:02 - Limitations of the COMPAS debate
  • 15:22 - Other examples of unfairness in algorithmic decision-making
  • 17:00 - What is discrimination in decision-making?
  • 19:45 - The mental state theory of discrimination
  • 25:20 - Statistical discrimination and the problem of generalisation
  • 29:10 - Defending algorithmic decision-making from the charge of statistical discrimination
  • 34:40 - Algorithmic typecasting: Could we all end up like William Shatner?
  • 39:02 - Egalitarianism and algorithmic decision-making
  • 43:07 - The role that luck and desert play in our understanding of fairness
  • 49:38 - Deontic justice and historical discrimination in algorithmic decision-making
  • 53:36 - Fair distribution vs Fair recognition
  • 59:03 - Should we be enthusiastic about the fairness of future algorithmic decision-making?

     

    Relevant Links

    • 'Machine Bias' - the ProPublica story on unfairness in the COMPAS recidivism algorithm
    • 'Inherent Tradeoffs in the Fair Determination of Risk Scores' by Kleinberg et al -- an impossibility proof showing that you cannot minimise false positive rates and equalise accuracy rates across two populations at the same time (except in the rare case that the base rate for both populations is the same)



      Episode #40: Nyholm on Accident Algorithms and the Ethics of Self-Driving Cars

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      In this episode I talk to Sven Nyholm about self-driving cars. Sven is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at TU Eindhoven with an interest in moral philosophy and the ethics of technology. Recently, Sven has been working on the ethics of self-driving cars, focusing in particular on the ethical rules such cars should follow and who should be held responsible for them if something goes wrong. We chat about these issues and more. You can download the podcast here or listen below. You can also subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher (the RSS feed is here).



      Show Notes:

      • 0:00 - Introduction
      • 1:22 - What is a self-driving car?
      • 3:00 - Fatal crashes involving self-driving cars
      • 5:10 - Could self-driving cars ever be completely safe?
      • 8:14 - Limitations of the Trolley Problem
      • 11:22 - What kinds of accident scenarios do we need to plan for?
      • 17:18 - Who should decide which ethical rules a self-driving car follows?
      • 23:47 - Why not randomise the ethical rules?
      • 25:18 - Experimental findings on people's preferences with self-driving cars
      • 29:16 - Is this just another typical applied ethical debate?
      • 31:27 - What would a utilitarian self-driving car do?
      • 36:30 - What would a Kantian self-driving car do?
      • 39:33 - A contractualist approach to the ethics of self-driving cars
      • 43:54 - The responsibility gap problem
      • 46:12 - Scepticism of the responsibility gap: can self-driving cars be agents?
      • 53:17 - A collaborative agency approach to self-driving cars
      • 58:18 - So who should we blame if something goes wrong?
      • 1:03:40 - Is there a duty to hand over driving to machines?
      • 1:07:30 - Must self-driving cars be programmed to kill?

        Relevant Links




          What a Day! Day 3 of the APHL Annual Meeting

          What a Day! Day 3 of the APHL Annual Meeting | www.APHLblog.org

          Day 3 of the APHL Annual Meeting was a big one! We had several captivating sessions including this year’s Katherine Kelley Distinguished Lecturer, Maryn McKenna, renowned journalist and author. Listen to today’s episode to hear a few attendees share what they took away from the day.

          You can listen to our show via the player embedded below or on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Please be sure to subscribe to Lab Culture so you never miss an episode.

          The post What a Day! Day 3 of the APHL Annual Meeting appeared first on APHL Lab Blog.

          Episode #39 – Re-engineering Humanity with Frischmann and Selinger

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          In this episode I talk to Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger about their book Re-engineering Humanity (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Brett and Evan are both former guests on the podcast. Brett is a Professor of Law, Business and Economics at Villanova University and Evan is Professor of Philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Their book looks at how modern techno-social engineering is affecting humanity. We have a long-ranging conversation about the main arguments and ideas from the book. The book features lots of interesting thought experiments and provocative claims. I recommend checking it out. I highlight of this conversation for me was our discussion of the 'Free Will Wager' and how it pertains to debates about technology and social engineering.

          You can listen to the episode below or download it here. You can also subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes (the RSS feed is here).


          Show Notes

          • 0:00 - Introduction
          • 1:33 - What is techno-social engineering?
          • 7:55 - Is techno-social engineering turning us into simple machines?
          • 14:11 - Digital contracting as an example of techno-social engineering
          • 22:17 - The three important ingredients of modern techno-social engineering
          • 29:17 - The Digital Tragedy of the Commons
          • 34:09 - Must we wait for a Leviathan to save us?
          • 44:03 - The Free Will Wager
          • 55:00 - The problem of Engineered Determinism
          • 1:00:03 - What does it mean to be self-determined?
          • 1:12:03 - Solving the problem? The freedom to be off

          Relevant Links



          Lab Culture Ep. 12: Bitten by the public health bug — How I found my lab niche

          Lab Culture Ep. 12: Bitten by the public health bug -- How I found my lab niche | www.APHLblog.org

          The people who work in public health laboratories make a difference in your community daily. In this third episode, members of the Emerging Leader Program cohort 10 sit down with their peers to hear how their public health laboratory careers have made an impact.

          You can listen to our show via the player embedded below or on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Please be sure to subscribe to Lab Culture so you never miss an episode.

          ELP cohort 10 members featured in this episode:

          Interviewees:

          • Degina Booker has been working in the public health lab for 40 years and is now the administrative services director for the Mississippi Public Health Lab.
          • Dr. Burton Wilcke, Jr., now retired, has worked in public health laboratories for over 35 years in Vermont, Michigan and California. Dr. Wilcke remains active in the public health laboratory community as a member of both the APHL Workforce Development Committee  and the Global Health Committee.
          • Dr. Musau WaKabongo, now retired, was the Public Health Laboratory Director at the Placer County Public Health Laboratory  and has worked in several public health laboratories in California for 13 years.
          • Dr. Maria Ishida has been working in public health for 11 years and is now the director of the New York State Food Laboratory.

          Are you thinking about a career in a public health laboratory?

          The post Lab Culture Ep. 12: Bitten by the public health bug — How I found my lab niche appeared first on APHL Lab Blog.

          Lab Culture Ep. 11: What if there were no public health labs?

          Lab Culture Ep. 11: What if there were no public health labs? | www.APHLblog.org

          Maybe the saying is true: you don’t know what you had until it is gone. For the families in this episode, the absence of public health laboratories turned their worlds upside down and negatively impacted both the present and future. These families represent us all and highlight the vulnerabilities that would exist if there were no public health laboratories working continuously to keep our communities and populations safe.

          This is the second episode in the series produced by members of the Emerging Leader Program cohort 10.

          You can listen to our show via the player embedded below or on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Please be sure to subscribe to Lab Culture so you never miss an episode.

          Lab Culture Ep. 11: What if there were no public health labs? | www.APHLblog.orgEmerging Infectious Disease Response:

          APHL’s Infectious Disease Program

          Laboratory Response Network (LRN)

          Interviewer: Kate Wainwright, PhD, D(ABMM), HCLD (ABB), MPH, MSN, RN, deputy director, Public Health Protection and Laboratory Services, Indiana State Department of Health

          Expert: Peter Shult, PhD, director, Communicable Disease Division; associate director, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison

           

          Lab Culture Ep. 11: What if there were no public health labs? | www.APHLblog.orgNewborn Screening:

          APHL’s Newborn Screening Program

          NewSTEPs

          Baby’s First Test

          Interviewer: Josh Rowland, MBA, MT(ASCP), manager, Training and Workforce Development, Association of Public Health Laboratories

          Expert: Miriam Schachter, PhD, research scientist 3, New Jersey Department of Health, Newborn Screening Laboratory

           

          Lab Culture Ep. 11: What if there were no public health labs? | www.APHLblog.orgFoodborne Illness:

          APHL’s Food Safety Program

          5 Things You Didn’t Know (but Need to Know) About Listeria

          Interviewer: Samir Patel, PhD, FCCM, (D)ABMM, clinical microbiologist, Public Health Ontario; Toronto, Canada

          Expert: Vanessa Allen, MD, MPH, medical microbiologist, chief of microbiology, Public Health Ontario; Toronto, Canada

           

          Narrator:  Erin Bowles, B.S., MT(ASCP), Wisconsin Clinical Laboratory Network coordinator and co-biosafety officer, Communicable Disease Division, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison

          Contributor: Emily Travanty, PhD, scientific director, Laboratory Services Division, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

          Special thanks to Jim Hermanson at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene for his help in recording this episode.

          The post Lab Culture Ep. 11: What if there were no public health labs? appeared first on APHL Lab Blog.

          Lab Culture Ep. 10: Public health labs do that?!

          Lab Culture Ep. 10: Public health labs do that?! | www.APHLblog.org

          Public health laboratories do a great deal of work that impacts the daily lives of everyone in America. Do you know exactly how much they’re doing? The first episode produced by members of the Emerging Leader Program cohort 10 looks at some of the work performed by public health lab scientists.

          You can listen to our show via the player embedded below or on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts. Please be sure to subscribe to Lab Culture so you never miss an episode.

          Links

          (*indicates ELP cohort 10 member)

          Water Quality Testing

          Interviewer: *Amanda Hughes, program manager of ambient air quality monitoring, State Hygienic Lab at the University of Iowa

          Experts:
          Michael Schueller, assistant director of operations, State Hygienic Lab at the University of Iowa
          Nancy Hall, program manager, Environmental Microbiology, State Hygienic Lab at the University of Iowa

          Water quality testing at the State Hygienic Lab at the University of Iowa

          Alcohol Testing

          Interviewer: *Gitika Panicker, microbiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

          Expert: Laura Bailey, director, Office of Alcohol Testing, Arkansas State Public Health Laboratory

          Alcohol testing at the Arkansas State Public Health Laboratory

           

          Influenza Testing

          Interviewer: *Shondra Johnson, laboratory information management system administrator, Missouri State Public Health Laboratory

          Expert: Jessica Bauer, molecular unit manager, Missouri State Public Health Laboratory

          Seasonal influenza testing at the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory

           

          Bioterrorism

          Interviewer: Avi Singh, food lab lead microbiologist, Washington State Public Health Laboratory

          Expert: *Denny Russell, bioterrorism coordinator, Washington State Public Health Laboratory

           

          Foodborne Outbreak Linked to Flour

          Interviewer: *Rebecca Lindsey, Whole Genome Sequence Project lead, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

          Experts:

          Heather A. Carleton, bioinformatics team lead, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
          Samuel J. Crowe, National Outbreak Reporting System team lead, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

          E. coli outbreak linked to flour (CDC)

          Shiga Toxin–Producing E. coli Infections Associated with Flour

           

           

           

          The post Lab Culture Ep. 10: Public health labs do that?! appeared first on APHL Lab Blog.

          Revising Your First Scientific Manuscript

          0000-0003-1823-8642   By Michael Hsieh   “Dear Author”. That email salutation, and minor variations, still gives me a jolt of adrenaline and trepidation. I’ve been publishing scientific papers for almost three decades, but I frantically