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“Deep Ethics in the Age of the Algorithm”

Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 7:30pm

First United Methodist Church 1376 Olive St., Eugene OR

We discuss deep machine learning, deep surveillance, deep facial recognition—Thomas Friedman called “deep” the word of 2019. What that word reveals is the role of complexity in our modern technological understanding of the world; complexity used to be a problem, now it is a resource. And that complexity means that often we cannot wait for an outcome before we make an ethical judgement; ethics will have to be built into the complex algorithms that will decide who will get resources, who will get arrested, and, famously, who the automated car will crash into. In an age of deep machine learning we will need a deep ethics to keep pace. It is time to ask: what will that ethics look like?

Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D. is the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Biological Behavior, and Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University. 

Dr. Wolpe spent 15 years as Senior Bioethicist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he still serves as a bioethical consultant. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience, and sits on the editorial boards of over a dozen professional journals in medicine and ethics. He is a past President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities; the current President of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors; a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the country’s oldest medical society; a Fellow of the Hastings Center, the oldest bioethics institute in America; and served as the first National Bioethics Advisor to Planned Parenthood Federation of America.