Events @ C4E

  • Tue, Mar 26, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Ethics of AI in Context: Sheila McIlraith

    Making Good Decisions and Getting AI to Do the Same

    As we contemplate a future in which AI systems are making decisions about everything from how long to toast our bagel to how fast our car should be driving on the icy roads, how do we ensure that these AI systems are making good decisions on our behalf? It has been suggested that highly autonomous AI systems adhere to the Value Alignment principle — that they be designed so that their goals and behaviours can be assured to align with human values throughout their operation — but how do we go about doing this? In this talk I will discuss technical approaches to building autonomous systems that “do the right thing” and the challenges to realizing this objective as we contemplate the elusive path from toasters to Artificial General Intelligence.

    ☛ please register here

    Sheila A. McIlraith
    University of Toronto
    Computer Science

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 27, 2019
    Ethics at Noon
    Ethics@Noon: Benjamin Berger

    Indigenous Rights, Sovereignty, and the Heart of Religious Freedom

    Recent years have seen the rise of religious freedom as the “most difficult right” in the Canadian legal landscape, just as it has become an increasingly contested constitutional concept in other jurisdictions.  Freedom of religion has become a site for debate about the nature of the public/private divide, the balancing of competing rights, and the role of group and collective rights.  Scholarship seeking to understand the right — and the place and workings of religious freedom within liberal constitutionalism — has tended to explore its relationship to broad concepts like “secularism” and multiculturalism, and to understand it either as an equality- or liberty-based protection.  This talk will use the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in Ktunaxa Nation v British Columbia as a pathway into a different understanding of the fundamental problematic at play in religious freedom.  In Ktunaxa, an Indigenous nation sought protection of its religious beliefs and practices under section 2(a) of the Charter.  Linking the case to other developments in Canada and abroad, this talk will argue that the Ktunaxa Nation’s decision to pursue their claim as a matter of freedom of religion — and the Court’s reasons for unanimously rejecting that claim — call our attention to the place of sovereignty in the architecture of religious freedom.  The specific features of Indigenous religions in a colonial context, and their awkward treatment in law, illuminate more broadly what is so difficult about freedom of religion.

    ☛ please register here

    Benjamin Berger
    York University
    Osgoode Hall Law School

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 27, 2019
    Ethics & the Arts, Ethics & Film: Lights, Camera, Ethics!, Ethics in the City
    Ethics & Film: Metropolis (Ethics in the City Film Series)

    In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences. (IMDb)

    Join us for a screening plus discussion (and cookies)!

    ☛ please register here

    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Apr 10, 2019
    Ethics in the City
    Ethics in the City: Theresa Enright

    Underground Arts: The Cultural Politics of Mass Transit

    Abstract: In the past two decades, cities around the world have tied investments in public transit to high-profile initiatives of art, design, architecture, and cultural programming. While transit art is proliferating, and has become a standard element of infrastructure planning, it is not well understood why municipalities and transit authorities are prioritizing the arts, or what function this cultural production plays in broader dynamics of urban development. This talk considers the close association between art and infrastructure investment with a focus on Toronto’s urban rail network. It asks: What accounts for the proliferation of transit art today? Where, how, and why is this occurring? And with what effects?

    Through investigating the cultural politics of transit, the paper identifies transit art as an important means for representing, imagining, producing, and organizing urban space and urban society. In line with existing critical research on public art, the paper finds that art and design are being used to ‘clean up’ struggling and defunded public utilities, to promote speculative financial investment, and to rebrand aspiring cities through culture-led placemaking. However, it also finds that transit art and design have less obvious functions—turning transit networks into valuable cultural assets, promoting vibrant public spheres, building communities, generating dynamic metropolitan imaginaries, and placing people and neighbourhoods in a hypermobile world.

    ☛ please register here

    Theresa Enright
    University of Toronto
    Political Science

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Apr 10, 2019
    Ethics & the Arts, Ethics & Film: Lights, Camera, Ethics!, Ethics in the City
    Ethics & Film: The Experimental City (Ethics in the City Film Series)

    The Experimental City (2017)

    In the 1960s, frustrated by the growing problem of urban pollution, Athelstan Spilhaus, a visionary scientist and futurist comic strip writer, assembled a team of experts to develop a bold experiment: the Minnesota Experimental City (MXC). MXC would be the city of the future, a domed metropolis for 250,000 pioneering residents, built from scratch and using cutting-edge technology to prevent urban sprawl and pollution. Things didn’t quite go as planned, as explored in Chad Friedrichs’ fascinating look back at the would-be city of tomorrow.

    ☛ please register here

    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Fri, May 3, 2019
    Conferences
    The Ethics of Roles: Public, Professional, Personal (C4E Graduate Student Conference)

    The 7th Annual Graduate Student Conference
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    May 3-4, 2019

    Call for Papers (due February 20, 2019)

    The Ethics of Roles: Public, Professional, Personal will explore the place of roles within our ethical lives, such as the ways in which roles can alter our moral duties, improve or corrupt our moral character, and shape our understanding of others. We will also consider the ethical dimensions of specific roles, for example: public servants, lawyers, medical professionals, business professionals, academics, artists, religious or spiritual advisors, citizens, parents, siblings and friends. The hope is for this breadth of focus to reveal common questions and further our understanding of roles and their ethics.

    The conference will feature a public keynote address by Arthur Applbaum, Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values at Harvard University. Applbaum is the author of Ethics for Adversaries: The Morality of Roles in Public and Professional Life. His work has appeared in journals such as Philosophy & Public Affairs, Journal of the American Medical Association, Harvard Law Review, Ethics, and Legal Theory.

    Keynote Speaker:
    Arthur Applbaum
    Lerman Neubauer Professor of Democracy and Public Policy
    Brandeis University

    12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Thu, Jun 27, 2019
    Events on Campus
    Media Ethics: Human Ecology in a Connected World

    The 20th Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association
    International Conference
    Toronto, 27-30 June 2019

    Presented by:

    12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    St Michael's College
    81 St. Mary Street

Past Events