Journal 4

In class this week we’ve been talking a lot about robot ethics and their potential role in society. Personally, I can’t seem to grasp robot ethics. I guess it’s because we haven’t experienced anything like this in society yet, it’s just a part of science fiction. To me it’s very obvious that robots are not living beings and therefore ethics shouldn’t necessarily apply. I’m all for animal ethics and extending more rights to animals, because I believe animals are sentient beings and have feelings and beliefs of their own. Although at this current point in time there are not robots with that ability, robots are not sentient, they have not developed the ability to think on their own and make their own decisions, at least to my understanding. Therefore I can’t seem to picture what role robots will play in our society of the future. I understand very well that with the current advancement in technology and how society has begun to revolve around robots they will be a very prominent part of the future, but on what level? Robots have the potential to be incredibly smart, but do they have the potential to evolve feelings? Feelings are something that comes with being sentient, if you can think and feel relative to the world around you, then I would consider that a sentient being. I’m sure robots eventually will be able to do calculations so fast that they are essentially thinking and adapting to everyday changes and situations, but will they be able to feel? It’s like in, The Bicentennial Man, Andrew says at one point that his circuits feel a certain way and he recognizes that as feeling, is that honestly something we can expect robots to have the ability to do? I see that more as science fiction, more of a, what if robots could have their own emotions? In all reality I’m sure robots will play such a fundamental role in society eventually that they will have to make autonomous decisions of their own, but I think there is a difference in having a robot choose the “right” ethical decision when confronted with a dilemma, which is absolutely feasible. Compared to a robot that somehow develops to be sentient, because of some special innate ability, that is more so a dream.

Journal 3

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend class this week so in my journal for this week I’d like to talk about how I feel technology and social media are affecting our society. I cannot say that I know a lot about politics or economics or foreign affairs so I apologize if I come across as misinformed, it’s because I am. I only know what I read in the news or on the Internet and that alone is what I base my judgments and opinions on, this itself is a problem all on it’s own. I understand that the media can be biased, the news can be biased, and anything on the Internet damn sure is biased but alas, that is how most people of my generation get their information now a days, which as we’ve seen can lead to many problems. Anybody can lie and say as they please on the internet, and exaggerate as they please and to me that’s fine you just have to have some skepticism with anything you read online and before jumping to conclusions, make sure the information is true first.
I feel as if because of current technology, and how our social lives are lived via the Internet now, the media can really have a huge impact. For example, look at Fox News reporting that in the case of the Mosque targeting in Quebec City the assailant was of “Moroccan decent” when in reality this was 100% just a rumor and they knew that the assailant was a white man who happened to be a Trump supporter and an internet troll, they even refused to take the tweet down and change their reporting until the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, called them and made them take it down. The fact that media companies can act like this is appalling to me. They will purposely lie and manipulate information with no regard to whom it impacts and that’s an issue. In these times of division uncertainty for many in the United States I think it’s important that people are getting their facts straight and not being misled, I think as a whole the people deserve that. In my opinion that has to start with the media who portrays the information in the first place, people may not see eye to eye on issues, especially in our current times, but that makes it all the more important that news outlets and those who provide information to the rest of the people are truthful and transparent with what they present.

Scott Gulizio Journal #1

Reflecting on this past week of classes I wanted to zero in on one particular aspect of class that was especially thought provoking to me. To me it was the idea that at any particular time in history, no matter what that time period is known for or the light that it is painted in, there will always be people who didn’t see it that way. History is not necessarily kind to all people, just because a time period was known for it’s advancements or it’s carefree lifestyle that does not mean that everyone who lived at that time thought of it that way. This reminds me of the fundamental idea that history after all, is a tale told by the victors. The losers are never the ones who’s story lives on, the positives are always taken into account first. This makes me think of today’s society and our endless technological advancements and how we as people are shaping society and the world around us. We may see what were accomplishing as being purely beneficial, but is it beneficial for all? Are we taking advantage or overlooking certain aspects of our world and society that normally we wouldn’t consider? I think that this is an absolutely valid question and this notion could be one that we’ll look back on years from now and regret. I firmly believe that as a society it couldn’t hurt to use precautions as were endlessly churning out new technological advancements and take a step back and think about what were impacting by doing so. As our time in this class goes on I want to continue to think about this question and see if this is a trend that has happened throughout history.