Saturday, April 14, 2018 9:30 am - 1:15 pm
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong / Duke University
Computers answer my questions and give me directions as I drive. They decide who gets organs for transplantation and bail in criminal courts. They serve as companions for elderly and disabled, and they guide autonomous cars and weapons of war. Is it dangerous or immoral to leave all of these decisions to machines? Will computers make morally better decisions than humans do? Can artificial intelligence improve on human moral judgments? Will artificial intelligence systems or robots act in destructive ways?
We need to face all of these questions in the near future. The solution is to build morality into computers, but how can we do that? We will see.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. He is core faculty in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, the Duke Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Duke Center for Interdisciplinary Decision Sciences. Professor Sinnott-Armstrong has received fellowships from the Harvard Program in Ethics and the Professions, the Princeton Center for Human Values, and the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He is the author of “Morality Without God?” and “Moral Skepticisms.”
Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College
Happiness has been in the news quite a bit lately. The UN released a “Happiness Report” rating nearly 200 countries, which found that the world’s happiest people live in Northern Europe (Denmark, Norway, Finland, and the Netherlands). The US ranked 11th. The report’s conclusion affirmatively states that happiness has predictable causes and is correlated specifically to various measures that governments can regulate and encourage. And there’s more. A new AARP study looks at how Americans feel – and what factors contribute to their sense of contentment. It concludes that nearly 50% of us are “somewhat happy” and another 19% are “very happy.”
What role do money, IQ, marriage, friends, children, weather, and religion play in making us feel happier? Is happiness stable over time? How can happiness be increased? In Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness, Professor Sanderson will describe cutting-edge research from the field of positive psychology on the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and provide practical (and relatively easy!) ways to increase your own psychological well-being.
For more positive psychology courses and lectures by Catherine Sanderson, check out ‘Why Some People are Resilient, and Other Are Not’, ‘Merely Bystanders: The Psychology of Courage and Inaction’ & more on demand now!
Catherine Sanderson is the James E. Ostendarp Professor of Psychology at Amherst College, and is often cited as the school’s most popular professor. Her research has received grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. She has published over 25 journal articles in addition to three college textbooks. In 2012, she was named one of the country’s top 300 professors by the Princeton Review.
William Burke-White / University of Pennsylvania
Globalization has blurred the distinction between domestic and foreign policy and it has increased our vulnerability in many policy areas. Yet, most Americans remain dangerously disinterested in foreign affairs. So, with a political system that is hopelessly polarized, what role will the US play in the world in the next few years? Will we control the agenda, cooperate and shape the agenda with our core allies or will we gradually withdraw from our role as the leading nation-state in global affairs? In this lecture we will review the strategies and traditions that have shaped U.S. foreign policy since the end of Cold War and we will review the key challenges our leaders will face in the next few years.
William Burke-White is the Richard Perry Professor and Inaugural Director of the Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania. He served in the Obama Administration from 2009-2011 on Secretary Clinton’s Policy Planning Staff. He was also principal drafter of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, Secretary Clinton’s hallmark foreign policy and institutional reform effort. Professor Burke-White has received the Levin Award and the Gorman award for Excellence in Teaching.