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From Fake News and Social Media to Gaming and Automation

15 May 2018

Using mobile phone

A philosophy festival being organised by Cardiff University scholars tackles the ethics and impact of technology on society.

‘Machines: Cardiff Philosophy of Technology’, sees academics from Cardiff and beyond share the latest thinking and encourage debate at the Sherman Theatre on 15 May.

Festival-goers will hear from more than 15 invited experts at five quick-fire talks and seven 60-minute roundtables, engaging with far-ranging topics in fields from philosophy to business and from computer science to law.

Participants will consider a range of contemporary questions including:

  • Is retweeting a kind of endorsement?
  • Is sharing on Facebook a form of testimony?
  • Are computer games unethical?
  • Can machines have consciousness? Can they feel pain? Do we have ethical obligations towards them?
  • Can we believe ‘speech without regard for truth’?
  • Might the introduction of a Universal Basic Income in Wales be the solution for an employment market changing dramatically within one generation through automation?

Throughout the afternoon, in-depth round-table discussions will take a deeper look at the latest theories, showcasing how philosophy can help us navigate our world in the following threads:

  • Automation - Work and Basic Income
  • Playing video games? No I’m doing philosophy
  • Atom Bombs and Smart Phones: Global Ethics in the Digital Age
  • Ethics of Tech Enhancement
  • Technology in Narratives
  • Artificial Consciousness
  • Fake News, Reliability and Impartiality
  • The Technological Singularity: Heaven or Hell?

The day culminates with, Fake News and the politics of Truth, a specially arranged keynote lecture from distinguished philosopher Professor Michael Lynch of the University of Connecticut at 7pm.  

Organisers from Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Dr Mona Simion and Dr Orestis Palermos, said: “In today’s break-neck emergence of new technologies, it’s time to take a step back and critically evaluate their impact on society, our identity and well-being. Now, more then ever, engaging philosophically with such topics can have a significant impact on our individual and political decisions.

“This festival on the topic of technology will be the first in  a series to be organised by Cardiff University’s Philosophy Unit, with the aim of bringing these fascinating discussions to the public..”

Machines: Cardiff Festival of Philosophy: Technology takes place on Tuesday 15 May from 4pm at the Sherman Theatre (tickets £4/individual; £10/family; student/£1).

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