SELECT A SPECIFIC TECHNOMORAL DILEMMA — A MORAL PROBLEM UNIQUE TO THE 21ST CENTURY AND ITS EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES. [It may be helpful to select an issue from chapters 7-9 of Vallor’s book Technology and the Virtues, or from the many examples presented in Coeckelbergh’s book AI Ethics, but you are free to select whichever specific technomoral problem you choose.]
As an essay answering the following:
Is Shannon Vallor’s 21st century approach to a virtue based moral theory sufficient to solve or navigate this specific technomoral dilemma?
Would a consequentialist (ex. utilitarian) or other non-consequentialist (ex. deontological) moral theory be more useful? Why / why not?
• In your introductory paragraph clearly formulate a strong thesis statement – a concise declarative sentence that serves as the conclusion to the argument your paper is about to present.
• The body of your paper should serve as plausible support for the conclusion you have drawn with your thesis statement. Remember, while you are arguing for YOUR position, you are not simply using your own anecdotal evidence
o Clearly articulate a concise definition / understanding of the emerging technology relevant to your thesis statement. [Note: while you are articulating your own position, make sure you identify the origins of technical terms used, and directly reference / cite the relevant sources that support your understanding.]
o Provide specific, cited examples of the current capacities and abilities of the emerging technology with which your paper is engaging.
o Articulate the specific moral problem, or problems, that have already arisen, or may at a future point arise, from this emerging technology.
o Do you agree / disagree with Vallor’s claim that to be moral is not about the direct consequences of our actions, or acting according to duty, but rather about the cultivation of a “good character” based on acting according to the twelve technomoral virtues?
If yes, why? If no, why not?
Clearly juxtapose at least one other normative MORAL THEORY against Vallor’s technomoral virtue theory. [Note: Be sure to use Shafer-Landau’s book A Concise Introduction to Ethics as at least one of your sources.]
o How would Vallor’s idea of a virtuous person act in regards to the specific technomoral dilemma your paper is exploring?
o Would acting according to the twelve technomoral virtues solve, or at least allow us to navigate, this technomoral problem?
o Provide both quotations and citations from appropriate sources to support ALL of your claims. [Note you are free to bring in whatever outside sources you choose. But do your due diligence to make sure all of the sources you cite are reliable — remember the study from MIT how false / sensational information travels faster and farther via the internet than trustworthy information.]
o Clearly explain or define any technical terms you use. [ex. “technomoral,” “virtue”, “virtuous person,” “categorical imperative,” “utilitarian,” “utility,” “robot,” “weak AI,” “panopticism,” “existential risk,” etc].
• Your concluding paragraph should not introduce any new information. It should reassert your thesis statement as the conclusion to your argument in light of the evidence your paper has provided.
PROOFREAD YOUR PAPER!!!
• Papers must be 12-15 pages, typed, double spaced, 1” margins, 12pt Times New Roman font.
• A cover page is not required, but if you include one, it does not count towards the total page requirement.
• All quotations must be cited – either in footnotes, endnotes, or within the text in parentheses. There is no specific citation format required — MLA, APA, Chicago, etc — just be consistent.
• Your paper will be graded on 1) clarity, 2) organization, and 3) quality of argument.
• Carefully follow the instructions on the prompt.