Students - 2011
 
 
Home | Objectives | Syllabus | Activities | Coordinators | Students
 

 

Syllabus for 2012 - Focus: Robotics

Sunday, July 8 – University Square Residence Hall
Corner of University Avenue and Central Avenue, Newark, NJ

5:00 - 6:00 PM - Registration and check-in; University Square Residence Hall Multi-Purpose Room

6:00 - 9:00 PM -University Square Residence Hall multi-purpose room
Dr. Jeff Buechner (Institute Director; Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University–Newark)
Mr. Levi Barnes III, Ethics Officer, Merck and Company, Inc.
Pizza Supper.
A screening of Laura Cardona’s documentary of the 2009 Rutgers-Merck Summer Bioethics Institute
Film: “I, Robot,” (50 minutes; an episode from a 1960’s TV show, The Outer Limits) followed by a discussion of ethical issues in robotics raised by the film. If a robot commits a crime, should it be punished? Are robots responsible for any criminal actions they commit?

 

Monday, July 9 – Engelhard Hall, 190 University Avenue,  Room 209

9:00 - 9:30 AM - Dr. Jeff Buechner (Institute Director; Philosophy, Rutgers University–Newark)
A short tour of robotics and of some of the ethical, social, and cultural issues it raises, especially the employment of robots in medical surgery and in warfare.

9:30 - 10:30 AM - Dr. Jeff Buechner
Critical thinking workshop
Introduction to the fundamental tools for critically assessing arguments. This workshop forms the basis for the entire week, and for the rest of your lives, since being able to critically assess arguments—the vehicles by which we acquire and transmit knowledge—is a fundamental human activity necessary for achieving success in any enterprise.

10:30 - NOON - Dr. Ken Richman (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences)
Introduction to ethics and ethical reasoning with examples of ethical problems that arise in robotics and how to use the basic principles of ethics in arriving at ethical decisions.

NOON - 1:00 PM - Lunch (Robeson Cafeteria)

1:00 - 2:30 PM - Dr. David Perlman (University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania Bioethics Center and Eclipse Educational Technologies)
Ethical Decision Making, using examples of ethical problems in robotics to test various theories of decision making. Professor Perlman will also talk about moral reasoning in the context of robotics and techniques he has developed for facilitating it.

2:30 - 4:00 PM - Writing workshop. Students will be assigned to groups and will begin to consider and write about ethical and philosophical issues arising in the context of robotics that will form the basis for their final presentations on Saturday. Students will employ the tools of critical thinking from the critical thinking workshop and will be assisted by 14 counselors and intern-counselors (some of whom are teachers in the Newark public school system).
Topic: Suppose that robots become as intelligent as human beings, and we create bodies for them that are visually indistinguishable from human bodies. If that happens, should robots have the same rights that human beings have? If yes, why? If no, why?

3:00 - 4:00 PM - Student Discussion: How do we distinguish humanoid robots and human beings?

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Dana Library, Electronic Classroom, Room 021
Dr. Robert Nahory (Rutgers University-Newark, Institute Of Jazz Studies) and Ann Watkins (Rutgers University Libraries) Introduction to Information Literacy: using library resources for projects.

5:00 - 6:30 PM - Dinner (Robeson Cafeteria)

6:30 - 8:00 PM - Center for Law and Justice, Rutgers University-Newark, 123 Washington Street, Room 010
Interning with Mr. Carlos Astacio and Mr. Elijah Smith of the Rutgers University Debating Team (nationally ranked) for Thursday’s debate.

 

Tuesday, July 10 – Engelhard Hall, 190 University Avenue,  Room 209

9:00 - 10:00 AM - Ms. Judy Young (Institute for Ethical Leadership, Rutgers Business School)
The art of public presentation. Ms. Young will provide tips for public presentations, including public speaking. These tips will be important for the individual and group presentations at the gala banquet the following day. Students will learn how to use power-point effectively, how to use images and color to enhance words, and how to present data accurately and convincingly .

10:00 - NOON - Akoma Ntoso Cultural Center (www.oiadainti.org), 191 Central Avenue, Newark
Ms. Diane Hill, (Director, Office of Campus Affairs, Rutgers University—Newark) and Dr. Lorna K. Johnson (Director, Akoma Ntoso Cultural Center)
Teleconference with high-school and college students in Ghana on ethical and business issues in robotics, especially the use of robots in medical surgery and in war.

NOON - 1:00 PM - Lunch (African food—of central Ghana—at the Akoma Ntoso Cultural Center)

1:00 - 2:00 PM - Dana Room, John Cotton Dana Library
Ms. April Grier will talk about the roots of hip-hop music in jazz, and about the cultural and social issues that are raised by both hip-hop and jazz. Ms. Grier has connections to many different musical artists, and is gifted at revealing to others her first-hand knowledge of music

2:00 - 3:00 PM - Hassan Muhammad (Department of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology)
Neural network models of human brains—can robots with neural network brains function more like humans than robots with alternative brain models? Mr. Muhammad will show his design and his implementation of a robot used for surgical procedures of the human eye.

3:00 - 4:00 PM - Writing Workshop
If a robot harms a human being, who is responsible for the harm? The robot? The designer of the robot? The company that sold the robot? The user of the robot? Society? The city or town in which the victim lives? The United States (if the victim lives there)?

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Dana Library, Electronic Classroom, Room 021
Dr. Robert Nahory and Ann Watkins - Introduction to Information Literacy, Part 2: using library resources for projects.

5:00 - 6:30 PM - Dinner (Robeson Cafeteria)

6:30 - 9:00 PM - Film “I, Robot” Room 10, Center for Law and Justice.

 

Wednesday, July 11 – Center for Urban and Public Service,111 Washington Street, Room 105

9:00 - 10:00 AM - Dr. Barry Komisaruk (Board of Governors’ Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Rutgers University–Newark)
Dr. Komisaruk will talk about the human brain, giving an overview of the basics of neuroanatomy and neurofunctioning. In order to understand the differences between humans and robots, we first need to understand how human brains work.

10:00 - 11:00 - Dr. Diane Hill (Associate Chancellor, Rutgers University-Newark)
Dr. Hill will talk about the rich and fascinating history of Newark—its culture, ethnicities, businesses, districts, and much more. Cities are intricate structures that are built around the people who live in them. What would a city of robots look like? Would it resemble a human city, such as Newark, or New York City?

11:00 - NOON - Mr. Cosim Sayid (Department of Philosophy, CUNY, The Graduate Center)
What is free will? How can there be free will if the universe is wholly determined by physical laws (deterministic)? If there is no free will, is anything permitted? Are we absolved of all legal and moral responsibilities if there is no free will?

NOON - 1:00 PM - Lunch (Robeson Cafeteria)

1:00 - 2:00 PM - Professor Trip McCrossin (Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University-Newark)
Personal identity in humans and in robots. What makes a human being the same person over the course of time? What makes a human being the same when various organic body parts are replaced by robotic parts? What makes a robot the same robot over time?

2:00 - 3:00 PM - Ms. Judy Young and Ms. Dana Bochna (Institute for Ethical Leadership, Rutgers Business School)
There are many ethical dilemmas that arise in the business world, and some of these dilemmas also arise in commercial applications of robotics. Ms. Bochna and Ms. Young will introduce students to the dilemmas and discuss how they might be resolved. Students will use critical thinking tools from the critical thinking workshop to try to steer between the horns of the dilemmas. They will also discuss how cogent ethical reasoning is vital for acquiring sound leadership skills

3:00 - 4:00 PM - Writing Workshop
Do robots have free will? If they don’t, could they have it? What would they need to have it? But first we have to ask: What is free will? Do human beings have it? If robots could have it, should they have it?

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Dana Library, Electronic Classroom, Room 021
Dr. Robert Nahory and Ann Watkins - Introduction to Information Literacy, Part 3: using library resources for projects. Students will compile notes for the day and work on their projects.

5:00 - 6:30 PM - Dinner (Robeson Cafeteria)

6:30 - 8:00 PM - Center for Law and Justice, Rutgers University-Newark, 123 Washington Street, Room 010
Interning with Mr. Carlos Astacio and Mr. Elijah Smith of the Rutgers University Debating Team (national ranked) for Thursday’s debate.

 

Thursday, July 12 – Center for Urban and Public Service,111 Washington Street, Room 105

9:00 - 10:00 AM - Dr. Lion Gardiner (Department of Biology, Rutgers University-Newark)
A renowned plant biologist, Dr. Gardiner is aslo one of the nation’s leading experts of educational assessment and learning. He will talk about the dangers of authoritarian thinking for effective  learning, and how easy it is for students to succumb to it. Would a robot that learns necessarily be an authoritarian thinker?.

10:00 - 11:00 - Mr. Ralph Jenkins (Department of Philosophy, CUNY, The Graduate Center)
Logic and reasoning in human beings and in robots. How can human defeasible reasoning be captured in robotic software? What is logic and what kind of logic do human beings use? Is it a different logic from the logic that robots use? .

11:00 - NOON - Dana Room, John Cotton Dana Library
Dr. Anastasia Pease (Department of English, Union College)
Many aspects of robotics have important literary, cultural and social dimensions, especially in science-fiction and in horror; Dr. Pease will provide an interactive discussion of this material in this teleconference seminar.

NOON - 1:00 PM - Lunch (Robeson Cafeteria)

1:00 - 3:00 PM - Center for Law and Justice, Rutgers University-Newark, 123 Washington Street, Room 010
Debate - Students will debate the following issue: When robots have intelligence comparable to that of human beings, and consciousness, should they have the same rights that we have?
Yvette Bravo-Weber, Assistant Dean, Minority Student Programs and Externships, Rutgers School of Law, Newark, will moderate the debate

3:00 - 4:00 PM - Writing workshop.
Describe the instructions you would give to two robots whose job it is to clean and organize a household kitchen. You will have to think about what knowledge you will have to give to the robots. For instance, if a plate is on the floor, how will the robot know that it is not in its proper place?

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Dana Library, Electronic Classroom, Room 021
Dr. Robert Nahory and Ann Watkins - Introduction to Information Literacy, Part 4: using library resources for projects. Students will compile notes for the day and continue work on their projects.

5:00 - 6:30 PM - Dinner (Robeson Cafeteria)

6:30 - 9:00 PM - Film (Forbidden Planet) Room 10, Center for Law and Justice.

 

Friday, July 13 –Engelhard Hall, 190 University Avenue,  Room 209

9:00 - 10:00 AM - Dana Room, John Cotton Dana Library
Dana Room, John Cotton Dana Library
Dr. Linda McDonald Glenn (Alden March Center for Bioethics, SUNY at Albany and The University of Vermont Bioethics Institute)
In the future we may be able to upload our minds into robotic bodies. What should we say about such future technology? Is it morally acceptable? Does it violate religious beliefs? Is the end product a human being or something else? If something else, what is it? Dr. Glenn will appear via SKYPE technology

10:00 - 11:00 AM - Dr. Robert Nahory (Rutgers University Institute of Jazz Studies)
Dr. Nahory will talk about how to program a robotic arm to move, and how hard it is to program the arm movements of a robot to simulate the arm movements of a human being. Evolution has created an amazing human body, and it is a challenge for us to figure out how our body works so that we can program robots to work in the same way

11:00 - NOON - Dr. Jeff Buechner (Institute Director; Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University-Newark)
Challenges in Designing Robotic Brains. There are several things human beings do very well that robots cannot do well. In particular, common-sense reasoning (which enables you to cross a busy street without being hit by a moving vehicle and without bumping into other pedestrians) is hard for a robot to do, but relatively easy for human beings. Why is it so hard to program robots to engage in common-sense reasoning?

NOON - 1:00 PM - Lunch (Robeson Cafeteria)

1:00 - 2:00 PM - Dr. Geoffrey Anders (Rutgers University-New Brunswick)

Artificial Intelligence and Catastrophe. What happens if robots become so intelligent—far more intelligent than human beings—and decide that they have no use for human beings? If they have no moral sense, would they exterminate us? Is this a possibility that is so unlikely to happen that it is irrational to worry about it? Or is it a real possibility which cannot, to our peril, be ignored?

2:00 - 3:00 PM - Writing workshop.
Once a human being has enough mechanical/digital bodily replacements, will he/she be a robot? If yes, why? If no, why? If yes, is there a precise stage at which a human being becomes a robot? If so, what is it?

3:00 - 5:00 PM - Work on group projects for the gala dinner on Saturday.

5:00 - 6:30 Pm - Dinner (Robeson Cafeteria)

6:30 - 10:00 PM - Students continue work on their projects for the Gala Banquet Saturday.

 

Saturday, July 14 – Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Room 255– 257

11:00 AM - 3:00 PM - Gala Banquet for students of the Institute and their parents.
Introduction by Dr. Jeff Buechner (Institute Director; Philosophy, Rutgers University–Newark)

Linda Corrin, who has worked as a counselor with us for the past 5 years, will talk about how the Summer Bioethics Institute creates a healthy lifestyle experience.

Noreen M. Lenart (Senior Ethics Associate, Merck and Company, Inc.)  will discuss Merck’s role in the Merck-Rutgers Summer Bioethics Institute.

Diane Hill, Assistant Chancellor, Rutgers University-Newark, will talk about the role of the Institute in connecting Rutgers-Newark with the Newark community.

Alex Plinio (Director of the Institute for Ethical Leadership, Rutgers Business School, and Professor of Business, Rutgers Business School) will discuss the partnership between the Department of Philosophy and the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers, and Merck Pharmaceuticals.

Student groups will present their bioethics projects.
Award ceremony and farewell.

 
This site maintained by Bioethics Webmaster
© 2012 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. All Rights Reserved.