Will robots replace us?: They are here – robots and technology of the future

A symposium on technology and ethics was held on Feb. 2 that hosted three hour-long seminars on ethics, engineering and technology and robotics in the new library auditorium.

The auditorium quickly filled with students interested to learn about the topics being outlined. All the seminars discussed the ethical issues that come with artificial intelligence and humanoid robotics, or robots that will interact and work with people. “The more technology that develops, the more ethical issues,” said Joseph R. Herkert, Lincoln associate professor of Ethics and Technology at Arizona State University. Herkert gave a speech on the specific subject of “Ethical Challenges of Emerging Technologies.”

“Can Robots Be Moral?” was the first session, held at 8:30 a.m. The speakers invited were Herkert, Michael S. Pritchard, professor of Philosophy and director of the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society at Western Michigan University and Kirk W. Love, associate professor of computing/networking sciences at UVU.

“Ethics and Technology” was the last session, held in a panel form discussion at 1 p.m. The panel consisted of Herkert as well as three UVU faculty: Cheryl Hanewicz, assistant professor of technology management; Keith Olson, professor of computing/networking sciences and Ray Walker, associate vice president of information technology/CIO.

All three sessions related to one another, addressing similar questions about the upcoming ethical issue of robotic morality.

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