Kenan faculty lead new Bass Connections project teams on morality, artificial intelligence, more

Faculty from the Kenan Institute for Ethics will be a part of four project teams for the 2017-2018 collection of Bass Connections at Duke projects.

Bass-KIEThe collaborative learning opportunities will bridge aspects of ethics and real-world application that also connect to one of Kenan’s program areas in Human RightsGlobal MigrationRethinking RegulationMoral Attitudes and Decision-Making, and Religions and Public Life. Students interested in joining the teams should attend the Bass Connections Open House from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24 in the Energy Hub on the first floor of Gross Hall. Applications will be open from Jan. 24 through Feb. 17.

The selected KIE/Bass Connections projects are:

How to Ask Questions

The project will identify a range of questions, drawing on existing literature about policies and the causes of one’s beliefs, the strength of one’s arguments, how many others agree, and evidence, arguments and thought processes of opponents. The project team will investigate which of these questions increase humility and which raise barriers to constructive discourse, such as defensiveness, rationalization, and polarization.

Kenan faculty lead: Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

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How to Build Ethics into Robust Artificial Intelligence

Participants will combine computational methods, philosophy, game theory and psychology to develop moral artificial intelligence (“moral AI”) to direct autonomous agents that is both robust and ethical.

Kenan faculty leads: Vincent Conitzer, Jana Schaich Borg, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

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Governance and Adaptive Regulation of Transformational Technologies in Transportation

This group will work to develop an approach to regulatory design and institutional updating, including model regulatory language, for both autonomous cars and 3D printing. The approach will be based on expertise on these technologies and analysis of how different regulatory options affect deployment of the technologies and learning about the emerging risks, benefits, costs and distribution of these technologies.

Kenan faculty leads: Lori Bennear, Nita Farahany, Andrea Renda, Jonathan Wiener

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Networks of Cooperation and Conflict in the Middle East

Drawing on social network analysis to identify empirically patterns of cooperation and conflict in the Middle East, the project’s objective will be to build a research group that investigates how social networks affect behavior in the context of Middle East conflicts, and to bridge the artificial epistemological divide that separates research involving the Middle East from the social sciences.

Kenan faculty lead: Barak Richman

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Bass Connections supports interdisciplinary teams of collaborators, providing undergraduates with the opportunity to join faculty, graduates students, and post-docs. These teams work on problem-based research around the themes of brain & society; information, society & culture; global health; energy; and education & human development. The partnership between KIE and Bass Connections furthers the missions of both to foster innovative work and thinking across different kinds of expertise on campus as well as to enrich student education.