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Machines, Minds, and Morality: Ethics in a Changing Technological World

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Friday, April 5, 2019, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Rotwitt Theater, Dorothy McKenna Brown Science Building

Rosemont College, 1400 Montgomery Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010


Rosemont College’s Institute for Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility will host a symposium on Friday, April 5, 2019. The symposium, titled “Machines, Minds, and Morality: Ethics in a Changing Technological World,” will take place in the Rotwitt Theater and Dorothy McKenna Brown Science Building on campus from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (breakfast and registration starts at 8:30 am).

The keynote address will be given by David J. Farber, one of the early pioneers of the development of the Internet. This event is free and open to the public.

Registration details, schedule of events, and speaker bios are available online at

“Machines, Minds, and Morality: Ethics in a Changing Technological World” will examine how advances in technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence give rise to significant ethical questions, even before these technologies become embedded in our daily lives.

Speakers and panelists include: 

David J. Farber, Professor, Co-Director of the Cyber Civilization Research Center at Keio University (Tokyo), American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, Pioneer Member of the Internet Hall of Fame

Sorelle Friedler, PhD, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Haverford College

Bilita Mattes, EdD, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Harrisburg University; Executive Director, STEM-UP Network

Professor Farber’s keynote address, “The Benefits, Dangers and Dilemmas of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence” will consider both the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence, highlighting some of the ethical dilemmas that emerge in this rapidly growing field. His pioneering research at Bell Labs in the 1950s contributed to the development of the Internet as we know it today.

Dr. Sorelle Friedler will deliver the second keynote, “Fairness and Abstraction: Algorithmic Discrimination and Attempts to Address it.” A culminating roundtable discussion moderated by Sydney Weinstein (Society for Information Management) will include Dr. Farber (Keio University), Dr. Friedler (Haverford College), and Dr. Bilita Mattes (Provost and CAO, Harrisburg University).

“There is no denying that machine learning and artificial intelligence can make all of our lives much easier and more productive,” said Dr. Lisa M. Dolling, Provost and VP for Academic and Student Affairs, and Professor of Philosophy at Rosemont College. “At the same time, these new frontiers not only raise important ethical issues, but force us to rethink what it means to be human. We are thrilled to host this symposium to provide a platform to discuss some of the complexities involved and hopefully set the stage for some possible solutions.”

Rosemont College’s Institute for Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility was launched with a view to raising the visibility of moral issues and providing opportunities for student leadership and community engagement throughout our academic programs and extracurricular activities. The Institute is committed to helping students develop the knowledge and skills necessary for becoming reflective and active citizens who recognize the importance of contributing to the broader values and needs of society.