Department of Philosophy



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The Department of Philosophy Colloquium Series presents

Jason Millar (University of Ottawa)

"The Ethics and Governance of Highly Automated Vehicles"

THURSDAY, March 23rd, 2017

WATSON HALL, ROOM 517 @ 4:00 p.m.

Recent advances in automated driving technology have given rise to a number of ethical challenges that, in turn, have raised questions for engineers, designers, and policy makers. Indeed, it seems we are currently experiencing the emergence of a new field of applied ethics, one that demands interdisciplinary engagement if we are to produce meaningful practical solutions. In this talk I provide a brief overview of the state of automated driving technology, and describe in some more detail a few of the ethical and related governance issues that have emerged as central to the technology. In particular, I present an argument that automated vehicles can behave as weak moral proxies, and that treating them as such provides a theoretical underpinning for solutions to some pressing design and governance issues. I then describe some of the implications that weak moral proxies have on engineering practice and policy. Finally, I outline a philosophically informed engineering/design framework, and corresponding policy response, that might be deployed to mitigate some of the ethical challenges that weak moral proxies raise in the context of automated vehicles and other artificial intelligence applications.


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