School of Religion, Philosophy & Classics

UKZN Academic Part of Metaethics and Artificial Intelligence Workshop in Netherlands

Professor David Spurrett speaks at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Photos: Supplied
Professor David Spurrett speaks at the Eindhoven University of Technology.

Professor David Spurrett of the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics was recently an invited participant at a workshop on Metaethics and Artificial Intelligence at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.

The workshop focused on problems relating possibilities of building artificially intelligent agents that behave ethically, and how to verify whether attempts to do so have succeeded.

Participants came from across Europe, Australia and the United States, and from disciplines including Computer Science, Technology and Innovation and Philosophy as well as industry. Most of the workshop discussions focused on problems relating to currently existing or possible forms of artificially intelligent agent, but some of the conversation turned to the more speculative problems relating to ethical behaviour by ‘super-intelligent’ agents in the future.

Spurrett was invited because workshop organisers regard his work on the evolution of agency as making a valuable contribution to the discussion of ethical artificial intelligence. His contribution focused on that work, and on how it might be extended to shed light on the evolution of ethical agency as well as the development of ethical agency in artificial systems built by humans.