Posts

Showing posts from 2008

PhD position in Philosophy and Ethics of Technology

The Section of Philosophy and Ethics of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology seeks a candidate for a PhD (1.0 fte) in Philosophy and Ethics of Technology (V39.473) on Ethical Aspects of Modelling in Engineering. The position is sponsored by the 3TU Centre of Excellence for Ethics and Technology Application Please send a written (printed) application letter with a recent, detailed Curriculum Vitae, names and contact details of (at least) two referees, and a sample of written work to: Eindhoven University of Technology Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences Personnel Department, Pav R.1.23. PO Box 513 5600 MB Eindhoven The Netherlands Deadline Applications should be received by January 31st, 2009. Please include the job vacancy code: V39.473.

European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies

The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) of the European Commission has published its new Opinion No. 24 on ethics of modern developments in agricultural technologies. You can find the text of the Opinion as well as a press release by clicking on the title of this blog.

International Conference on Computer Supported Education

Dear Luciano Floridi, CSEDU-2009 (the International Conference on Computer Supported Education - http://www.csedu.org) welcomes the submission of position papers and also doctoral consortium reports. Please submit your paper by January 15, 2009. A position paper presents an arguable opinion about an issue. The goal of a position paper is to convince the audience that your opinion is valid and worth listening to, without the need to present completed research work and/or validated results. It is, nevertheless, important to support your argument with evidence to ensure the validity of your claims. A position paper may be a short report and discussion of ideas, facts, situations, methods, procedures or results of scientific research (bibliographic, experimental, theoretical, or other) focused on one of the conference topic areas. The acceptance of a position paper is restricted to the categories of "short paper" or "poster", i.e. a position paper is not a candidate t

International Journal of Machine Consciousness

Dear Luciano, on behalf of the Editorial Board, I am happy to inform you and the IACAP colleagues that a new journal, the "International Journal of Machine Consciousness", will start publication in 2009 by World Scientific, with an initial start of 2 issues per year. The journal will focus on several aspects of machine consciousness both from theoretical and technical side, and it will accept long and short papers, tutorials and target papers. I hope you would consider the journal as a way to disseminate their work in the field. Thank you for your attention and best regards. Antonio Chella University of Palermo International Journal of Machine Consciousness Editor-in-Chief

Roboethics

There will be a workshop on Roboethics at ICRA 2009 in Kobe Japan on May 17th 2009 For the workshop webpage, please click on the title of this blog. Abstract submissions are due January 14, 2009.

2nd AISB Symposium on Computing and Philosophy

2nd AISB Symposium on Computing and Philosophy; in conjunction with the 2009 AISB Convention Date: 9th April 2009 Location: Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland Overview The convergence of computing and philosophy has a lineage going back to Leibniz but it is not until the work of Alan Turing and the appearance of electronic computers in the mid-20th century that we arrive at a practical intersection between computing and philosophy. Precursors to the theories and programs of interest to this AISB Symposium on Computing and Philosophy include the Turing Test as outlined in Turing's seminal reflection on thinking machines; the AI work of Herb Simon and Alan Newell with the Logic Theorist; Rosenblatt's Perceptron - a biologically inspired pattern matching device - and Grey Walter's Turtle - an early example of embodied Cybernetic Artificial Intelligence (A.I). The purpose of this symposium is to advance the philosophical study of computing in general by exploring t

The Philosophy of Computer Science

Raymond Turner and Amnon Eden have just published the entry "The Philosophy of Computer Science" in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Not to be missed.

CFP: Visions of Humanity in Cyberculture, Cyberspace and Science Fiction

4th Global Conference - Visions of Humanity in Cyberculture, Cyberspace and Science Fiction Monday 6th July - Wednesday 8th July 2009 - Mansfield College, Oxford Call for Papers This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary project aims to explore what it is to be human and the nature of human community in cyberculture, cyberspace and science fiction. In particular, the project will explore the possibilities offered by these contexts for creative thinking about persons and the challenges posed to the nature and future of national, international, and global communities. Papers, short papers, and workshops are invited on issues related to any of the following themes: the relationship between cyberculture, cyberspace, science fiction cyberculture, cyberpunk and the near future: utopias vs. dystopias science fiction and cyberpunk as a medium for exploring the nature of persons humans and cyborgs; the synergy of humans and technology; changing views of the body human and post-human con

Ethical Issues of Emerging ICT Applications

The Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility of De Montfort University will be leading a European project under FP7. The aim of the project is to investigate "Ethical Issues of Emerging ICT Applications" (ETICA). The project is planned to start on 01.04.2009. For this project the Centre is looking to recruit a Research Fellow and a Project Administrator. Both posts will be 50% FTE and run for the entire duration of the project from April 2009 to June 2011. Further information about the positions as well as application forms can be found here: for the Research Fellow for the Project Administrator

Geneva-Compliant Artificial Fighters and "the thin human line" of defence

Image
Who is better, a man or a machine? A man with a machine, of course. When you fly, you hope that at least the takeoff and the landing will be controlled by a computer, but also that a human, well-trained pilot (possibly two) will be there just in case, to supervise and control, to rectify and intervene, as "the thin human line" of defence against the machine's accurate and precise, total dumbness. Remember: if the landing is not as smooth as silk, that's because it's handmade. Sometimes pilots need to keep themselves trained. What about fighters? War technology has evolved exponentially since the time of The Thin Red Line , only 150 years ago. But, apparently, we haven't seen anything yet: "The US Army and Navy have both hired experts in the ethics of building machines to prevent the creation of an amoral Terminator-style killing machine that murders indiscriminately. By 2010 the US will have invested $4 billion in a research programme into "aut

NACAP 2009

The International Association for Computing and Philosophy is pleased to announce the keynote speakers for its 2009 North American conference to be held June 14th-16th at Indiana University. This year's Herbert A. Simon Keynote Address will be presented by Bill Bechtel (University of California, San Diego): "Networks at Multiple Levels: Understanding Circadian Phenomena." The Douglas C. Engelbart Keynote Address will be presented by Olaf Sporns (Indiana University): "Network Neuroscience - A New Perspective on Brain Function." NACAP 2009 will additionally feature special sessions devoted to networks in logic instruction, the social aspects of networks, and research related to philosophy and computing currently underway at Indiana University. IACAP President, Luciano Floridi, will also present his annual address, titled this year, "A Distributed Model of Truth for Semantic Information." Submissions are welcome on all aspects of the conference them

Information Privacy and the European Court of Human Rights: S. AND MARPER v. THE UNITED KINGDOM

I have argued in the past that "you are your own information" and hence that information privacy is a matter of personal identity protection, and that its breach is more like kidnapping than like trespassing. See The Ontological Interpretation of Informational Privacy , Ethics and Information Technology . 2005, 7.4, 185 - 200, 2005. The European Court of Human Rights now seems to agree. EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS 4.12.2008 Press release issued by the Registrar GRAND CHAMBER JUDGMENT S. AND MARPER v. THE UNITED KINGDOM The European Court of Human Rights has today delivered at a public hearing its Grand Chamber judgment [1] in the case of S. and Marper v. the United Kingdom (application nos. 30562/04 and 30566/04). The Court held unanimously that: • there had been a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights; • it was not necessary to examine separately the complaint under Article 14 (prohibitio

Artificial Intelligence’s New Frontier: Artificial Companions and the Fourth Revolution

Artificial Intelligence’s New Frontier: Artificial Companions and the Fourth Revolution, Metaphilosophy , 39.4/5, 651-655. Abstract In this article I argue that the best way to understand the information turn is in terms of a fourth revolution in the long process of reassessing humanity's fundamental nature and role in the universe. We are not immobile, at the centre of the universe (Copernicus); we are not unnaturally distinct and different from the rest of the animal world (Darwin); and we are far from being entirely transparent to ourselves (Freud). We are now slowly accepting the idea that we might be informational organisms among many agents (Turing), inforgs not so dramatically different from clever, engineered artefacts, but sharing with them a global environment that is ultimately made of information, the infosphere . Preprint available here .

CFP SPT 2009: Converging Technologies, Changing Societies

16th International Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology July 8-10 - University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands Deadline for abstracts: January 5, 2009 SPT 2009 welcomes high quality papers and panel proposals in all areas of philosophy of technology. Given the focus of this year's conference, papers dealing with converging technologies and their social and cultural impact are especially welcomed. SPT 2009 will include 15 tracks: Converging technologies and human enhancement. Chair: Peter-Paul Verbeek Converging technologies and engineering sciences. Chair: Mieke Boon Converging technologies and risks. Chairs: Sabine Roeser and Sven Ove Hansson Converging technologies: general issues. Chair: Armin Grunwald Ethics and politics of emerging technologies. Chair: Tsjalling Swierstra Philosophy and ethics of biomedical and nanotechnology. Chairs: Bert Gordijn and Joachim Schummer Philosophy and ethics of information technology. Chair: Adam Briggle Environment

New position as Managing Director of the Center

The John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values of the University of Notre Dame is now accepting applications for a new position as Managing Director of the Center. The Center engages in interdisciplinary education, research, and outreach at the interface of science and technology with the humanities and social sciences. The Managing Director will help to administer the day-to-day operations of the Center, including its undergraduate minor in Science, Technology, and Values and its doctoral program in the History and Philosophy of Science. She or he will organize the participation of the Center in two major university-funded research projects and will help direct Center-initiated research and educational projects. The Managing Director will maintain and develop the Center’s relationships with other academic units and will maintain the Center’s web sites. She or he will help to devise and implement strategies to make the Center’s new electronic journal, the Reilly Center

CPDP 2009: Data Protection in A Profiled World?

Computers, Privacy & Data Protection conference CPDP 2009: Data Protection in A Profiled World? 16&17 January 2009, de Buren, Brussels Data protection and privacy increasingly face new challenges posed by technologies and policies as well as society and individual expectations. Identifying and addressing such issues is the main goal of the annual Computers, Privacy & Data Protection (CPDP) conference. The CPDP Conference aims at bridging policymakers, academics, practitioners and activists to create the most appropriate forum of discussion on key challenges. It combines informative panels with the latest agenda news from data protection stakeholders and panels with current topics of interests. The main topic of interest on this year's CDPD Conference Data Protection in A Profiled World is 'profiling and automatic computing'. Other topics are: e-voting and data breaches, e-privacy regulations and surveillance, privacy by design and social networks as well as

The Philosophy of Identity in the Virtual

THIS SYMPOSIUM IS PART OF VRIC'09 AT LAVAL VIRTUAL The Philosophy of Identity in the VirtualSymposium n° 6 (of 6), April 23, 9-12 AM / 2-5 PM For information on the venue and related Symposiums: http://www.laval-virtual.org/ Topic Difference, Relation and Identity are three notions that are fundamentals for the success of Virtual Reality technologies (VR and AR). The aim of this symposium is to conceptualise the Identity of an individual as a scientific concept whilst acknowledging the fact that Identity cannot be studied without considering the other two notions. The pros and cons of designing identities for or within VR become obvious upon admitting that representing any Self will be interpreted at some point by someone having his own values, opinions and experience in life. Members of our society that self-procure, attribute or redistribute Identity in the Virtual World bring about psychological enquiries in relation to user intentionality, specific uses of VR ap

CFP: The Philosophy of Computer Science

Preliminary Call for Papers ================================== THE PHILOSOPHY OF COMPUTER SCIENCE ================================== Special issue of Minds and Machines (2010) and Track in the 7th European conf. on Computing And Philosophy—ECAP 2009 THEME Two special editions of Minds and Machines (2007) and the Journal of Applied Logic (2008) dedicated to the philosophy of computer science have already appeared in print. Another special edition of Minds and Machines is planned for 2010. Papers submitted to the “Philosophy of Computer Science” track in ECAP 2009 will also be considered for publication in the special issue of Minds and Machines. We invite submissions concerned with philosophical issues that arise from reflection upon the nature and practice of the academic discipline of computer science. In particular we welcome submissions concerned with questions such as the following: 1. What kinds of things are programs? Are they abstract or concrete? (Moor 1978; Colburn 2

PhD positions in Formal Epistemology

The Formal Epistemology Project (FEP) at the Centre for Logic and Analytical Philosophy at the University of Leuven, Belgium, announces several PhD positions in formal epistemology. The positions are open to students with a background in one or more of the following areas: Philosophy, Logic, Computer Science, Linguistics, Mathematics, Psychology, and Economics. Students with an interest in any area of formal epistemology (epistemic logics, probabilistic approaches etc.) are encouraged to apply. The positions are fully funded for three years, at 1600-1700 Euros per month (net). The Project's language is English. More information about FEP is available at www.formalphilosophy.org DEADLINE: December 31st, 2008. Applications should include the following: A cover letter. A CV. A full academic transcript or equivalent (original copy). Three letters of reference (to be sent separately, directly by the referees). A research proposal (500-1000w). Two writing samples not total

AP-CAP 2008

The Fourth Asia-Pacific Computing and Philosophy Conference ( AP-CAP 2008 ) will be held at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) , Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bangalore, India, during December 5—7, 2008. This is the first time this conference is being held in India. It is jointly organized by Centre for Philosophy, NIAS, and the Association for Logic in India (ALI).

ECAP 2008 - 7th European Computing and Philosophy Conference

Call for Papers ECAP09 Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, July 2-4, 2009 Chair: Jordi Vallverdú, jordi.vallverdu@uab.cat http://ia-cap.org/ecap09/ IMPORTANT DATES February 23rd, 2009: Abstracts submission deadline March 16th, 2009: Notification of acceptance April 24th, 2009: Start of wiki-debates May 11th, 2009: Early registration deadline July 2nd - 4th, 2009: Conference GENERAL INFORMATION From Thursday 2 to Saturday 4 July 2009 the European Conference on COMPUTING AND PHILOSOPHY (E-CAP 2009) will be held at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra (very close to Barcelona city, Catalonia). E-CAP is the European conference on Computing and Philosophy, the European affiliate of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy (IACAP, president: Luciano Floridi). ECAP'09 is the seventh conference in the annual series. PROGRAM The conference is interdisciplinary: we invite papers from philosophy, computer science, social science and relat

Luciano Floridi’s Philosophy of Information and Information Ethics: Critical Reflections and the State of the Art

Image
Well, it is self-referential, so I'm a bit self-conscious... but here are the news: Ethics and Information Technology , Springer, has published a special issue in two numbers dedicated to “Luciano Floridi’s Philosophy of Information and Information Ethics: Critical Reflections and the State of the Art”, edited by Charles Ess. Volume 10, Numbers 2-3, 2008. EIT is the most important and influential "peer-reviewed journal dedicated to advancing the dialogue between moral philosophy and the field of information and communication technology". This is the first time it dedicates a special issue to a researcher’s achievements. The special issue comprises ten articles by some of the most important researchers in the area and a final reply by Floridi: Charles Ess, Luciano Floridi’s philosophy of information and information ethics: Critical reflections and the state of the art Bernd Carsten Stahl, Discourses on information ethics: The claim to universality Philip Brey, Do we

America at its best again

Image
Wonderful news. We really needed them badly. Two quick comments. 1) You can draw a straight line between the openings of two of America's greatest speeches: "I have a dream" and "If there is anyone". From the introspective, to the objective, allo-centric view, this is how the US have overcome one of their worst crisis and social problem. 2) None of the five good emperors of Rome were actually born in Rome. They were totally Romans though, just as Obama is absolutely American। The US just got a new lease from history. They deserve it. PS Obama was born in the US of course, or he could not have run for the presidency. (Schwarzenegger docet. You can at most become Governor.)

Converging Technologies, Changing Societies

Call for Papers - SPT 2009 Converging Technologies, Changing Societies 16th International Conference of the Society for Philosophy and Technology July 8-10 University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands Deadline for abstracts: January 5, 2009 SPT 2009 welcomes high quality papers and panel proposals in all areas of philosophy of technology. Given the focus of this year's conference, papers dealing with converging technologies and their social and cultural impact are especially welcomed. SPT 2009 will include 15 tracks: 1. Converging technologies and human enhancement. Chair: Peter-Paul Verbeek 2. Converging technologies and engineering sciences. Chair: Mieke Boon 3. Converging technologies and risks. Chairs: Sabine Roeser and Sven Ove Hansson 4. Converging technologies: general issues. Chair: Armin Grunwald 5. Ethics and politics of emerging technologies. Chair: Tsjalling Swierstra 6. Philosophy and ethics of biomedical and nanotechnology. Chair: Bert Gordijn and Joa

The Loebner Prize from a judge's perspective

Image
This year, for the first time in its history, the Loebner Prize competition was held in England, at the University of Reading to be precise. It was organised by Kevin Warwick and Huma Shah. Independently of whether Turing might have been pleased (he was not well treated in this country, recall?), there was a satisfying sense of “coming home” of the Turing Test (henceforth TT ). Expectations were high, and they very highly advertised too. The meeting was perfectly organised. Having been invited to play the role of a judge, together with several other colleagues, including two members of the IEG , Mariarosaria Taddeo and Matteo Turilli ( here are their pictures and Rosaria's interview ) , I enjoyed the opportunity to see from close-up the machinery and the TT . It was intriguing and great fun. Because there were interviews with the BBC and other things going on, and because we were also supposed to take part in the parallel AISB Symposium on the TT , I had time to test o

Loebner Prize 2008

For a quick report on this year Loebner prize and on how far machines are from behaving even remotely intelligently, click on the title of this blog.

Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Information

Image
Publications of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. Hrsg. von / Edited by Austrian Ludwig-Wittgenstein Society. Band 6 Alois Pichler, Herbert Hrachovec (Eds.) Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Information Proceedings of the 30th International Ludwig Wittgenstein-Symposium in Kirchberg, 2007. This is the first of two volumes of the proceedings from the 30th International Wittgenstein Symposium in Kirchberg, August 2007. In addition to several new contributions to Wittgenstein research (by N. Garver, M. Kross, St. Majetschak, K. Neumer, V. Rodych, L. M. Valdés-Villanueva), this volume contains articles with a special focus on digital Wittgenstein research and Wittgenstein's role for the understanding of the digital turn (by L. Bazzocchi, A. Biletzki, J. de Mul, P. Keicher, D. Köhler, K. Mayr, D. G. Stern), as well as discussions – not necessarily from a Wittgensteinian perspective – about issues in the philosophy of information, including computational ont

And there are people who still believe there are no artificial agents...

From Today's Slashdot "The Wall Street Journal reports that Google News crawled an obscure reprint of an article from 2002 when United Airlines was on the brink of bankruptcy. United Airlines has since recovered but due to a missing dateline, Google News ran the story as today's news. The story was then picked up by other news aggregators and eventually headlined as a news flash on Bloomberg. This triggered automated trading programs to dump UAL, cratering the stock from $12 to $3 and evaporating 1.14 billion dollars (nearly United's total market cap today) in shareholder wealth. The stock recovered within the day to $10 and is now trading at $9.62, a market cap of $300M less than before Google ran the story."

IEG and GPI Newsletter

The latest issue of Oxford Information Ethics research Group (IEG) and UH research Group on the Philosophy of Information (GPI) is now available online here . The previous issues may be accessed here.

IACAP Newsletter 2008-1

Image
The latest issue of the IACAP Newsletter is now available online, on the IACAP website, together with the previous issues: http://www.ia-cap.org/newsletter.php If you wish to download just the new issue, you may click on the title of this blog.

IT, Olympic Games, and the Silver Generation

What would the Olympic Games be without Information Technology (IT)? Not just because we can sit in front of a digital screen and replay our favourite finals, or check immediately on Wikipedia how many people live in Jamaica. The way in which IT enables one to measure and compute tiny portions of time and space has allowed some sports to survive and even flourish. It would be hard to understand what fencing or the 100 metres would look like, if we were unable to analyse fractions of a second as significant magnitudes, or if inches could not be magnified into huge gaps. IT permeates sport, from initial training through performance to final enjoyment; so, even those activities that seem IT-free, from golf to sailing, are deeply indebted to the information revolution. Indeed, some sports have embraced IT with gusto, if some initial reluctance. Wimbledon is now more interesting and fairer because we can all witness whether the ball really failed to touch the white line, and take that int