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Ohio County Public Library | Online Calendar

PEOPLE'S UNIVERSITY - Human Rights, Class 8: Extensions - Artificial Intelligence

December 18, 2018

Event starts at 7:00 PM.

Extensions - Artificial Intelligence and Non-Human Sentient Beings

We are in the midst of a robot invasion, as devices of different configurations and capabilities slowly but surely come to take up increasingly important positions in everyday social reality—self-driving vehicles, recommendation algorithms, machine learning decision making systems, and social robots of various forms and functions. David Gunkel offers a provocative attempt to think about what has been previously regarded as unthinkable: whether and to what extent robots and other technological artifacts of our own making can and should have any claim to moral and legal standing.

“Robots are a new kind of entity, not quite alive and yet something more than machines. Gunkel's book dissects the question of whether robots should have rights from every angle, setting the stage for what may become the most important ethical debate of this century.” - Tony Prescott, Professor of Cognitive Robotics, University of Sheffield

Instructor Dr. David J. Gunkel is Distinguished Teaching Professor of Communication Technology at Northern Illinois University and the author of The Machine Question: Critical Perspectives on AI, Robots, and EthicsOf Remixology: Ethics and Aesthetics after Remix, both published by the MIT Press, and other books. Gunkel is an award-winning educator, scholar and author, specializing in the study of information and communication technology with a focus on ethics. Formally educated in philosophy and media studies, his teaching and research synthesize the hype of high-technology with the rigor and insight of contemporary critical analysis. He is the author of over 50 scholarly journal articles and book chapters, has written and published 7 influential books, lectured and delivered award-winning papers throughout North and South America and Europe, is the managing editor and co-founder of the International Journal of Žižek Studies and co-editor of the Indiana University Press series in Digital Game Studies. His teaching has been recognized with numerous awards, including NIU's Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the prestigious Presidential Teaching Professor.

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The Ohio County Public Library's new eight-week People's University series, Human Rights, will explore the Sources, Critiques, Achievements, Extensions, Deviations, and Challenges of and in the development of what we collectively and, often generically, call "Human Rights." An impressive array of instructors from the fields of philosophy, history, sociology, law, and communications will cover different perspectives on the development of Human Rights from the Ancient Greeks, through the Enlightenment, American, and French Revolutions, to the present. Along the way, we will explore the achievements in Rights from the Magna Carta through the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, as well as the strong critique presented by Karl Marx and the deviations brought on by tyranny in all of its forms. In the modern context, we will look at 20th Century Postwar developments like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the idea of Economic Rights, consider the ongoing challenges of extending rights, from the American Civil Rights Movement, through Women's Suffrage, and LGBTQ Rights, while also comparing the American view of Rights to that of Europe and the rest of the world. Finally, we will consider the challenge of sentient non-humans, including Animal Rights and Artificial Intelligence.

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Ohio County Public Library

The Ohio County Public Library serves all persons who live in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia, which includes Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties. Residents in Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe counties of Ohio and Washington, Greene and Allegheny counties of Pennsylvania may also receive library services. 

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