[Air-L] Deadline approaching: interdisciplinary faculty and PhD workshops - University of Oslo

Charles Ess charles.ess at gmail.com
Thu Aug 8 01:34:32 PDT 2013

Dear AoIRists,

Please cross-post and distribute as appropriate - with the note that the
deadline for applications for participation in either the faculty and/or the
PhD workshops is coming up: August 15, 2013.  (Please see the website for
further details.) 

        Faculty workshop ­ PhD workshop ­ Public Debate
Whom ­ and what ­ can you trust in online / mediated environments?
Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Philosophy, Computer Science, Media
September 26-27, 2013: Department of Media and Communication, University of

Lecturers / mentors:
Dag Elgesem, University of Bergen
James Moor, Dartmouth College
Judith Simon, University of Vienna &, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,
Elisabeth Staksrud, University of Oslo
Mariarosaria Taddeo, University of Warwick
Herman Tavani, Rivier University, New Hampshire
John Weckert, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia

Background / description:
James Moor¹s seminal paper, ³What is Computer Ethics?² (1985), inaugurated a
new generation of interdisciplinary reflection on how computing technologies
evoked distinctive new ethical challenges.  These challenges are often quite
novel ­ and their roots in specific technologies thus require equally novel
and collaborative reflection across the otherwise diverse disciplines of
philosophy, applied ethics, computer science, social science, and so on.

Especially over the past decade, increasing attention has been given to
questions of trust and privacy in online and mediated environments.  These
questions are complicated by important differences between face-to-face and
online/mediated experiences of trust and privacy - and further complicated
by the increasingly important roles of Artificial Agents (AAs) and
Multi-Agent Systems (MASs) such as those at work in ³recommendations for
you² on commercial websites, web-page ranking algorithms used in popular
search engines, and so on. At the same time, AAs and MASs are becoming
increasingly autonomous ­ capable of making decisions independently of human
control. Such autonomy raises centrally philosophical questions:  Are such
AAs and MASs further capable of making autonomous ethical judgments ­
including the specific sort of judgment denoted by phronesis or ³practical
wisdom²?  And: how would we know if we can or should trust these agents ­
precisely as they become increasingly indispensible to our lives?

Our lecturers / mentors have each undertaken leading work in these domains,
both within philosophically-grounded and -oriented reflection (J. Moor, J.
Simon, M. Taddeo, H. Tavani) and within the contexts of online and mediated
communication environments (D. Elgesem, E. Staksrud, C.Ess).
Our faculty and PhD workshops are designed to further important dialogue and
debate, and foster current doctoral research in these domains.  The public
debate will offer highlights of current insights and findings, along with
critical discussion of our defining themes and questions.

For more details, including registration procedures, please see the
workshops / lecture website.


Looking forward to welcoming many of you to Oslo!

Best in the meantime,

Charles Ess
Professor in Media Studies
Department of Media and Communication
Director, Centre for Research on Media Innovations
University of Oslo 
P.O. Box 1093 Blindern
Oslo Norway
email: charles.ess at media.uio.no

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