•  579
    The ongoing explosion of interest in artificial intelligence is fueled in part by recently developed techniques in machine learning. Those techniques allow automated systems to process huge amounts of data, utilizing mathematical methods that depart from traditional statistical approaches, and resulting in impressive advancements in our ability to make predictions and uncover correlations across a host of interesting domains. But as is now widely discussed, the way that those systems arrive at t…Read more
  •  330
    The Effectiveness of Embedded Values Analysis Modules in Computer Science Education: An Empirical Study
    with Matthew Kopec, Meica Magnani, Vance Ricks, Roben Torosyan, Nicholas Miklaucic, Felix Muzny, Ronald Sandler, Christo Wilson, Adam Wisniewski-Jensen, Cora Lundgren, Kevin Mills, and Mark Wells
    Big Data and Society 10 (1). 2023.
    Embedding ethics modules within computer science courses has become a popular response to the growing recognition that CS programs need to better equip their students to navigate the ethical dimensions of computing technologies like AI, machine learning, and big data analytics. However, the popularity of this approach has outpaced the evidence of its positive outcomes. To help close that gap, this empirical study reports positive results from Northeastern’s program that embeds values analysis m…Read more
  •  3
    AI As a Moral Right-Holder
    In Markus Dubber, Frank Pasquale & Sunit Das (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of AI, Oxford University Press. 2020.
    This chapter evaluates whether AI systems are or will be rights-holders, explaining the conditions under which people should recognize AI systems as rights-holders. It develops a skeptical stance toward the idea that current forms of artificial intelligence are holders of moral rights, beginning with an articulation of one of the most prominent and most plausible theories of moral rights: the Interest Theory of rights. On the Interest Theory, AI systems will be rights-holders only if they have i…Read more
  •  24
    The Death of the Ethic of Life
    Oxford University Press. 2019.
    Many subscribe to an Ethic of Life, an ethical perspective on which all living things are deserving of some level of moral concern. Within philosophy, the Ethic of Life has been clarified, developed, and rigorously defended; it has also found its strongest critics. Currently, the debate is at a standstill. This book ends this stalemate by proving that the Ethic of Life must be abandoned.
  •  525
    Ought to Is: The Puzzle of Moral Science
    Oxford Studies in Metaethics 12. 2017.
  •  82
    Can We Use Social Policy to Enhance Compliance with Moral Obligations to Animals?
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3): 629-647. 2018.
    Those who wish to abolish or restrict the use of non-human animals in so-called factory farming and/or experimentation often argue that these animal use practices are incommensurate with animals’ moral status. If sound, these arguments would establish that, as a matter of ethics or justice, we should voluntarily abstain from the immoral animal use practices in question. But these arguments can’t and shouldn’t be taken to establish a related conclusion: that the moral status of animals justifies …Read more
  •  872
    Restitutive Restoration
    Environmental Ethics 32 (2): 135-147. 2010.
    Our environmental wrongdoings result in a moral debt that requires restitution. One component of restitution is reparative and another is remediative. The remediative component requires that we remediate our characters in ways that alter or eliminate the character traits that tend to lead, in their expression, to environmental wrongdoing. Restitutive restoration is a way of engaging in ecological restoration that helps to meet the remediative requirement that accompanies environmental wrongdoing…Read more
  •  903
    In order to determine whether current (or future) machines have a welfare that we as agents ought to take into account in our moral deliberations, we must determine which capacities give rise to interests and whether current machines have those capacities. After developing an account of moral patiency, I argue that current machines should be treated as mere machines. That is, current machines should be treated as if they lack those capacities that would give rise to psychological interests. Ther…Read more
  •  30
    Teleological organisation
    with Sune Holm
    Synthese 194 (4): 1027-1029. 2017.
  •  1680
    A Bargaining Game Analysis of International Climate Negotiations
    with Ronald Sandler, Rory Smead, and Patrick Forber
    Nature Climate Change 4 442-445. 2014.
    Climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have so far failed to achieve a robust international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Game theory has been used to investigate possible climate negotiation solutions and strategies for accomplishing them. Negotiations have been primarily modelled as public goods games such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, though coordination games or games of conflict have also been used. Many of these models have solutio…Read more
  •  474
  •  19
    This book consists of thirteen chapters that address the ethical issues raised by technological intervention and design across a broad range of biological and ecological systems. Among the technologies addressed are geoengineering, human enhancement, sex selection, genetic modification, and synthetic biology.
  •  901
    Robust technological enhancement of core cognitive capacities is now a realistic possibility. From the perspective of neutralism, the view that justifications for public policy should be neutral between reasonable conceptions of the good, only members of a subset of the ethical concerns serve as legitimate justifications for public policy regarding robust technological enhancement. This paper provides a framework for the legitimate use of ethical concerns in justifying public policy decisions re…Read more
  •  1272
    Transhumanism, Human Dignity, and Moral Status
    American Journal of Bioethics 10 (7): 63-66. 2010.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  522
    A trilemma for teleological individualism
    Synthese 194 (4): 1027-1029. 2017.
    This paper addresses the foundations of Teleological Individualism, the view that organisms, even non-sentient organisms, are goal-oriented systems while biological collectives, such as ecosystems or conspecific groups, are mere assemblages of organisms. Typical defenses of Teleological Individualism ground the teleological organization of organisms in the workings of natural selection. This paper shows that grounding teleological organization in natural selection is antithetical to Teleological…Read more
  •  682
    The good of non-sentient entities: Organisms, artifacts, and synthetic biology
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4): 697-705. 2013.
    Synthetic organisms are at the same time organisms and artifacts. In this paper we aim to determine whether such entities have a good of their own, and so are candidates for being directly morally considerable. We argue that the good of non-sentient organisms is grounded in an etiological account of teleology, on which non-sentient organisms can come to be teleologically organized on the basis of their natural selection etiology. After defending this account of teleology, we argue that there are…Read more