Technoethics: Are our technologies changing our ethics?

Welcome to our 2nd episode of the “22 Lessons on Ethical Technology” series!

In this episode, I sit down with Dr. Mark Coeckelbergh, one of the world’s leading experts on ethics and technology, in particular robotics and artificial intelligence. We talk about the way that technologies are changing our understanding of ethics and philosophical thinking, how technologies have added to and altered philosophical thinking throughout history, how new technologies–particularly robots, AI, cybernetics, and memory devices–are changing the way we think, and how we understand our ethical obligations to the world, and to each other. 

Prof. Dr. Mark Coeckelbergh is a Professor of Philosophy of Media and Technology in the Philosophy of Department at the University of Vienna, and until recently Vice Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Education. He is also the former President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology (SPT). His expertise focuses on ethics and technology, in particular robotics and artificial intelligence. He is a member of various entities that support policy building in the area of robotics and artificial intelligence, such as the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, the Austrian Council on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, and the Austrian Advisory Council on Automated Mobility. He is the author of 16 philosophy books and numerous articles, and is involved in several European research projects on robotics.

From 2012-2014, Prof. Coeckelbergh served as the Managing Director of the 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology), and from 2013-2015, he served as the co‐chair of the Technical Committee ‘Robot Ethics’ of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society.

He serves on numerous journal advisory boards at the intersection of ethics, society, and technology; he is a fellow of the World Technology Network (WTN) and a finalist of the 2017 World Technology Awards in the category “Ethics”. His new book, Robot Ethics (MIT Press, 2022) is a landmark guide to the ethical questions that arise from our use of industrial robots, robot companions, self-driving cars, and other robotic devices.

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