This assignment is due on September 18th, Wednesday

 

P.W. Singer.  Wired for War (pp 94-108).

Singer does an outstanding job of describing the landscape of singularity proponents. Enjoy this and read as background.  If you have any comments feel free to share them here. There are no required reading questions for you to answer.

 

Hans Moravec.  Rise of the Robots.

Ray Kurzweil. The Coming Merging of Mind and Machine.

 [Note these readings come from the large Sci Am reading available to you from the syllabus]

These two well-respected thinkers write in the same Scientific American special issue regarding their vision of robotics’ and humanity’s future. Read both of these articles first.  Hans Moravec and Ray Kurzweil represent two of the deepest thinkers in the Singularity movement, which has won support from major corporations and even founded a university in Silicon Valley.

Questions:

1 Assumptions.  Identify at least three major, unsupported assumptions made by each author that are foundational to their view of our singularity-driven future.  To be precise, this means you are identifying and discussing a total of 6 assumptions.

2 For each of Moravec and Kurzweil, answer the following sub-questions:

 a) How does the author deal with the ethical analysis of his imagined future in his article?  If you see an ethical discussion, identify it and evaluate it.

b) If you were trying to model how the author likely thinks about ethical consequences regarding his work, what system or form of ethics do you believe the author would represent?

3 Conduct your own ethical evaluation of the hypothesized singularity (merger of human and robot forms), using either the consequentialist analysis or a character-based, Aristotelian analysis.

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