Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Advocating for Tech Firms to Hire Philosophers

I have spent the better half of the last two years trying to convince companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, DeepMind, and OpenAI that they need to hire philosophers. That’s Tobias Rees, Reid Hoffman Professor of Humanities at The New School and director of “The Transformations of the Human” program at The Berggruen Institute. In an essay at Quartz, Rees writes that tech companies “have helped create realities that we can no longer navigate with the old understanding of what it means to be human”: We need new ones—for ourselves, so that we are able to navigate and regulate the new worlds we live in, but also for the engineers who create tech products, tools, and platforms, so that they can live up to the philosophical stakes of their work. To make that possible, we need philosophers and artists working alongside computer and software engineers. Rees has in mind developments in artificial intelligence and related areas. He says: The vast majority of cutting-edge AI research is carried out in companies. The problem is that most of the people who lead these companies don’t know that they are radically reinventing our definition of what it means to be human. They think of themselves as just people who work at tech companies. One of the major ambitions of my work is to change this. I want these labs and companies to understand their enormous philosophical responsibility: the self-aware design of new possibilities of being human and of [More]

New: Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness

The International Journal of Machine Consciousness, which ceased publication in 2014, is being reborn as the Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness. The new journal will offer a multidisciplinary platform to discuss AI and consciousness in the light of robotics and artificial systems, computational science, psychology, philosophy of mind, ethics, and neuroscience. The aims and scope of the journal are: (i) articles that take inspiration from biological consciousness and/or that explore theoretical issues of consciousness to build robots and AI systems that show forms of functional consciousness; (ii) articles that employ robots and AI systems as tools to model and better understand biological mechanisms of consciousness; (iii) articles that discuss ethical problems emerging or uncovered through the overlap of AI and consciousness, and that investigate the ethical and societal impact of consciousness and the limits of it, and (iv) to pursue the hybridization between the field of AI and the field of consciousness studies. The journal’s editor in chief is Antonio Chella, a professor of robotics at the University of Palermo, and its executive editors are David Gamez (computer science, Middlesex) and Riccardo Manzotti (philosophy, IULM Milan). There are a number of philosophers on the editorial board, including Peter Boltuc (U. Illinois, Springfield), Selmer Bringsjord (Rensselaer Polytechnic), Chuanfei Chin (National University of Singapore), Ron Chrisley [More]

Taming the Beast: Building Self-regulating AI

Artificial Intelligence is all the rage these days–at least among the tech Illuminati. The attitude among the general population on the other hand seems to range from indifference, to fear, to outright antagonism. One of the big concerns many people share is the worry that AI systems will become too powerful and grow beyond the ability of their creators to manage and control. Is there a solution? [More]

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Interview with

Dr. Robert McKim
  • on Religious Diversity
  • Professor of Religion and Professor of Philosophy
  • Focuses on Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

Interview with

Dr. Alvin Plantinga
  • on Where the Conflict Really Lies
  • Emeritus Professor of Philosophy (UND)
  • Focuses on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion
  • Ph.D. Yale

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Dr. Peter Boghossian
  • on faith as a cognitive sickness
  • Teaches Philosophy at Portland State University (Oregon)
  • Focuses on atheism and critical thinking
  • Has a passion for teaching in prisons
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