Ethicist Walter Sinnott-Armstrong to discuss morality of artificial intelligence

Will computers make morally better decisions than humans? Can artificial intelligence improve on human moral judgments?

Ethicist Walter Sinnott-Armstrong will discuss the morality of artificial intelligence Thursday, Oct. 5, in Foster Auditorium. Credit: Walter Sinott-ArmstrongAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, will lead a public discussion about the morality of artificial intelligence at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, in Foster Auditorium of Paterno Library. 

This talk is free and open to the public; however, attendees are asked to register online. For more information, visit

During the conversation, Sinnott-Armstrong will explore building morality into computers. He will discuss the ability of machines to make morally better decisions than humans. The conversation also will question the likelihood of artificial intelligence to behave in destructive ways and the morality of leaving decision-making to computers.

The public lecture, “Are Machines Taking Over? How to Build Moral Artificial Intelligence,” will include responses from Alan R. Wagner, assistant professor of aerospace engineering and research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute; and C. Daryl Cameron, assistant professor of psychology and research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute.

Sinnott-Armstrong holds secondary appointments in the Duke University School of Law, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Decision Sciences. His current work focuses on moral psychology and brain science, uses of neuroscience in legal systems, political polarization, as well as freedom and moral responsibility.

This event is a part of the Moral Psychology Research Group Conference, which will be held Oct. 5-7 at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. The public lecture and conference sessions are sponsored by the Rock Ethics Institute in the College of the Liberal Arts.

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated September 26, 2017