Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

AI and Sexuality (New Paper)

I have new paper. This one is set to appear in the Oxford Handbook of the Ethics of AI, which is edited by Markus Dubber, Frank Pasquale and Sunit Das. The book isn't out yet. I believe it is due out in the Autumn/Fall. You can access the penultimate draft at the links below.Title: SexualityBook: The Oxford Handbook of the Ethics of Artificial IntelligenceLinks: Philpapers; Researchgate; AcademiaAbstract:  Sex is an important part of human life. It is a source of pleasure and intimacy, and is integral to many people's self-identity. This chapter examines the opportunities and challenges posed by the use of AI in how humans express and enact their sexualities. It does so by focusing on three main issues. First, it considers the idea of digisexuality, which according to McArthur and Twist (2017) is the label that should be applied to those 'whose primary sexual identity comes through the use of technology', particularly through the use of robotics and AI. While agreeing that this phenomenon is worthy of greater scrutiny, the chapter questions whether it is necessary or socially desirable to see this as a new form of sexual identity. Second, it looks at the role that AI can play in facilitating human-to-human sexual contact, focusing in particular on the use of self-tracking and predictive analytics in optimising sexual and intimate behaviour. There are already a number of apps and services that promise to use AI to do this, but they pose a range of ethical risks [More]

Guns in Cars

While many American cities have seen a significant increase in the number of guns stolen from often unlocked cars, Tennessee seems to be the leader in this area. In 2016 2,203 guns were reported stolen from vehicles. In 2017 4,064 thefts were reported. The causes of the increase are no mystery. One factor is the [More]

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

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 Notes0:00 – Introduction3:14 – What is existential risk? Why should we care?8:34 – The four types of agential risk/omnicidal terrorists17:51 – Are there really omnicidal terror agents?20:45 – How dual-use technology give apocalyptic terror agents the means to their desired ends27:54 – How technological civilisation is uniquely vulernable to omnicidal agents32:00 – Why not just stop creating dangerous technologies?36:47 – Making the case for mass surveillance41:08 – Why mass [More]