Patrick Lin

Director, Ethics & Emerging Sciences Group
California Polytechnic State University

Ethics and Autonomous Vehicles: How AI Decisions Can Create New Risks

With self-driving cars, replacing the human with an AI driver also means shifting the burden of responsibilities and liabilities to technology developers. Because AI decisions are either scripted or determined by learning algorithms, they seem premeditated in an important sense, unlike a bad human reflex, for instance; and the ethical and legal implications are unclear. This talk introduces the radical challenge that AI poses to responsibility and decision-making, not just for crash scenarios but also everyday decisions that create or transfer risk, including in self-navigation decisions.

Patrick Lin, PhD, is the director of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group, based at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he is a philosophy professor. Other current and past affiliations include: Stanford Engineering, Stanford Law, US Naval Academy, Dartmouth College, Notre Dame, World Economic Forum, and UNIDIR. He is well published in technology ethics, especially on robotics and AI—including the books Robot Ethics (MIT Press, 2012) and Robot Ethics 2.0 (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2017). Dr. Lin regularly gives invited briefings to industry, media, and government; and he teaches courses in ethics, technology, and law.

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