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Phil Torres [6]Phillip J. Torres [1]
  1. The Future of War: The Ethical Potential of Leaving War to Lethal Autonomous Weapons.Steven Umbrello, Phil Torres & Angelo F. De Bellis - forthcoming - AI and Society.
    Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWs) are robotic weapons systems, primarily of value to the military, that could engage in offensive or defensive actions without human intervention. This paper assesses and engages the current arguments for and against the use of LAWs through the lens of achieving more ethical warfare. Specific interest is given particularly to ethical LAWs, which are artificially intelligent weapons systems that make decisions within the bounds of their ethics-based code. To ensure that a wide, but not exhaustive, survey (...)
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  2.  40
    A Modified Conception of Mechanisms.Phillip J. Torres - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (2):233-251.
    In this paper, I critique two conceptions of mechanisms, namely those put forth by Stuart Glennan (Erkenntnis 44:49–71, 1996; Philosophy of Science 69:S342–S353, 2002) and Machamer et al. (Philosophy of Science 67:1–25, 2000). Glennan’s conception, I argue, cannot account for mechanisms involving negative causation because of its interactionist posture. MDC’s view encounters the same problem due to its reificatory conception of activities—this conception, I argue, entails an onerous commitment to ontological dualism. In the place of Glennan and MDC, I propose (...)
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  3.  11
    Long-Term Trajectories of Human Civilization.Seth D. Baum, Stuart Armstrong, Timoteus Ekenstedt, Olle Häggström, Robin Hanson, Karin Kuhlemann, Matthijs M. Maas, James D. Miller, Markus Salmela, Anders Sandberg, Kaj Sotala, Phil Torres, Alexey Turchin & Roman V. Yampolskiy - 2019 - Foresight 21 (1):53-83.
    Purpose This paper aims to formalize long-term trajectories of human civilization as a scientific and ethical field of study. The long-term trajectory of human civilization can be defined as the path that human civilization takes during the entire future time period in which human civilization could continue to exist. -/- Design/methodology/approach This paper focuses on four types of trajectories: status quo trajectories, in which human civilization persists in a state broadly similar to its current state into the distant future; catastrophe (...)
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    Agential Risks: A Comprehensive Introduction.Phil Torres - 2016 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 26 (2):31-47.
    The greatest existential threats to humanity stem from increasingly powerful advanced technologies. Yet the “risk potential” of such tools can only be realized when coupled with a suitable agent who; through error or terror; could use the tool to bring about an existential catastrophe. While the existential risk literature has provided many accounts of how advanced technologies might be misused and abused to cause unprecedented harm; no scholar has yet explored the other half of the agent-tool coupling; namely the agent. (...)
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  5.  78
    Superintelligence and the Future of Governance: On Prioritizing the Control Problem at the End of History.Phil Torres - forthcoming - In Roman Yampolskiy (ed.), Artificial Intelligence Safety and Security. CRC Press.
    This chapter argues that dual-use emerging technologies are distributing unprecedented offensive capabilities to nonstate actors. To counteract this trend, some scholars have proposed that states become a little “less liberal” by implementing large-scale surveillance policies to monitor the actions of citizens. This is problematic, though, because the distribution of offensive capabilities is also undermining states’ capacity to enforce the rule of law. I will suggest that the only plausible escape from this conundrum, at least from our present vantage point, is (...)
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  6.  21
    Moral Bioenhancement and Agential Risks: Good and Bad Outcomes.Phil Torres - 2017 - Bioethics 31 (9):691-696.
    In Unfit for the Future, Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu argue that our collective existetial predicment is unprecedentedly dangerous due to climate change and terrorism. Given these global risks to human prosperity and survival, Persson and Savulescu argue that we should explore the radical possibility of moral bioenhancement in addition to cognitive enhancement. In this article, I argue that moral bioenhancements could nontrivially exacerbate the threat posed by certain kinds of malicious agents, while reducing the threat of other kinds. This (...)
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  7.  1
    Existential Risks: A Philosophical Analysis.Phil Torres - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-26.
    ABSTRACTThis paper examines and analyzes five definitions of ‘existential risk.’ It tentatively adopts a pluralistic approach according to which the definition that scholars employ should depend up...
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