Emory expert explores artificial intelligence and 'deep ethics' in TedX Atlanta talk

By Carol Clark | eScienceCommons | May 16, 2019

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Advances in neurotechnology, genetics and artificial intelligence are not only going to change society as a whole, they are actually going to challenge what it means to be human and change our ethics, argues Paul Root Wolpe, director of the Emory Center for Ethics, in a recent TEDx Atlanta talk.

He uses self-driving cars as just one example.

“These vehicles are going to be going down the road and in a crisis they’re going to have to make decisions about what to do,” Wolpe says. “Do I crash into the wall and endanger my passengers or do I turn left and hit those pedestrians? For the first time we’re going to have to create ethical algorithms. That is, we’re going to have to teach a vehicle to make ethical decisions. For the first time, machines will be making ethical decisions that will have a profound impact on human beings.”  

Watch Wolpe’s talk in the video above to learn what he means by the term “deep ethics,” and how artificial intelligence may someday help us navigate through the ethical complexities raised by technology itself.