The Spring 2018 Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Brian McLaughlin (Rutgers University).
Title: On the Matter of Robot Minds: An Essay in Robo-Ethics.
Location: Maloney Seminar Room, Social Sciences 224.
Brian P. McLaughlin (with David Rose)
On the basis of reading the entrails of AI systems, a number of AI researchers are predicting that there will be sentient robots with human level intelligence or greater within the next thirty or so years. If this prediction is correct, we face enormously difficult moral and social issues. I argue that these predictions are based on unwarranted behaviorist assumptions about mentality. Moreover, I present the results of two studies (that I conducted with David Rose) that indicate that people do not think that material composition and structure matter to mentality only insofar as they matter to dispositions to behave. I also point out that the tsunami of humanoid robots soon to enter our lives will nevertheless pose difficult moral and social issues, and that studies of peoples’ reactions to such robots will be valuable to preparing, as a society, to deal with those issues.