Podcasts  |    |  January 21, 2019

Derek Leben on Ethics for Robots and Artificial Intelligences

Podcast produced by Sean Carroll’s Mindscape. Interview with Derek Leben, philosopher and author of Ethics for Robots: How to Design a Moral Algorithm. Runtime 88 minutes.

It’s hardly news that computers are exerting ever more influence over our lives. And we’re beginning to see the first glimmers of some kind of artificial intelligence: computer programs have become much better than humans at well-defined jobs like playing chess and Go, and are increasingly called upon for messier tasks, like driving cars. Once we leave the highly constrained sphere of artificial games and enter the real world of human actions, our artificial intelligences are going to have to make choices about the best course of action in unclear circumstances: they will have to learn to be ethical.

I talk to Derek Leben about what this might mean and what kind of ethics our computers should be taught. It’s a wide-ranging discussion involving computer science, philosophy, economics, and game theory.

Derek Leben received his Ph.D. in philosopy from Johns Hopkins University in 2012. He is currently an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.