MassIntelligence Sneak Peek: UMass Lowell Professor Steers Ethical Debate on AI


On November 9, MassTLC will host the 2nd annual MassIntelligence Conference, which will look at the emerging artificial and machine intelligence capabilities that successful business leaders will need to adopt. Industry leaders, including Nicholas Evans, Professor in the Dept of Philosophy at UMass Lowell, will share insights on how AI, MI, sensors and smart infrastructure will impact every business, with examples in healthcare, transportation, smart cities, ethics, and more.

Wondering what to expect? Dr. Evans, who “has won a three-year, $556,650 National Science Foundation grant to construct ethical answers to questions about autonomous vehicles,” and his research was recently covered by UMass Lowell news.

From the piece:

Should your self-driving car protect you at all costs? Or should it steer you into a ditch – potentially causing serious injury – to avoid hitting a school bus full of children?

Those are the kinds of questions that preoccupy Nicholas Evans, a UMass Lowell assistant professor of philosophy who teaches engineering ethics and studies the ethical dilemmas posed by emerging technologies, including drones and self-driving vehicles.

“You could program a car to minimize the number of deaths or life-years lost in any situation, but then something counter-intuitive happens: When there’s a choice between a two-person car and you alone in your self-driving car, the result would be to run you off the road,” Evans said. “People are much less likely to buy self-driving vehicles if they think theirs might kill them on purpose and be programmed to do so.”


For the full article, check out the UMass Lowell news blog, here.

Interested in learning more? We invite you to join us at MassIntelligence next month for an in-depth discussion. Hope to see you there!