2012

Wendell Wallach on robot ethics

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Wendell Wallach, lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics at Yale University, co-author of “Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong,” and contributor to the new book, “Robot Ethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Robotics,” discusses robot morality.

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Geoff Manne on copyright

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In last week’s episode of Surprisingly Free, Tom Bell introduced his chapter in Copyright Unbalanced, a new book on the conservative and libertarian case for copyright reform, edited by Jerry Brito. This week, Geoff Manne, lecturer in law at Lewis & Clark Law School, and Executive Director of the International Center for Law & Economics, explains how, while also working from libertarian principles, he arrived at a very different view of copyright than either Brito or Bell.

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Tom Bell on copyright reform

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Tom W. Bell, professor of law at Chapman University and author of the concluding essay in “Copyright Unbalanced,” a new book edited by Surprisingly Free’s own Jerry Brito, discusses the ways in which copyright has evolved over time and why reform is vital.

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James Miller on the economics of the singularity

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James D. Miller, Associate Professor of Economics at Smith College and author of Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World, discusses the economics of the singularity, or the point of time in which we’ll either have computers that are smarter than people or we will have significantly increased human intelligence.

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Matt Hindman on politics and the Internet

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In the wake of the election, Matt Hindman, author of The Myth of Digital Democracy, analyzes the effect of the internet on electoral politics. According to Hindman, the internet had a large—but indirect—effect on the 2012 elections. Particularly important was microtargeting to identify supporters and get out the vote, says Hindman. Data and measurements—two things that the GOP was once ahead in, but which they have ceded to the Democrats in the past 8 years—played a key role in determining the winner of the presidential election, according to Hindman. Hindman also takes a critical look at the blogosphere, comparing it to the traditional media that some argue it is superseding, and he delineates the respective roles played by Facebook and Twitter within the electoral framework.

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Chris Anderson on 3D Printing and the Maker Movement

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Chris Anderson, former Wired magazine editor-in-chief and author of Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, describes what he calls the maker movement.

According to Anderson, modern technologies, such as 3D printing and open source design, are democratizing manufacturing. The same disruption that digital technologies brought to information goods like music, movies and publishing will soon make its way to the world of physical goods, he says.

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Joseph Hall on e-voting

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Elections are coming up, but though we’re well into the 21st century, we still can’t vote online. This archived episode discusses the future of voting. Joseph Hall, Senior Staff Technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology and a former postdoctoral researcher at the UC Berkeley School of Information, discusses e-voting. Hall explains the often muddled differences between electronic and internet voting, and talks about security concerns of each. He also talks about benefits and costs of different voting systems, limits to having meaningful recounts with digital voting systems, and why internet voting can be a bad idea.

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Perry Keller on the relationship between the state and the media

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Perry Keller, Senior Lecturer at the Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London, and author of the recently released paper “Sovereignty and Liberty in the Internet Era,” discusses how the internet affects the relationship between the state and the media. According to Keller, media has played a formative role in the development of the modern state and, as it evolves, the way in which the state governs must change as well. However, that does not mean that there is a one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, as Keller demonstrates using real-world examples in the U.S., U.K., E.U., and China, the ways in which new media is governed can differ radically based upon the local legal and cultural environment.

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Stan Liebowitz on copyright and incentives

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Stan Liebowitz on copyright and incentivesStan Liebowitz, Ashbel Smith Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Dallas, discusses his paper, “Is Efficient Copyright a Reasonable Goal?” According to Leibowitz, economists could hypothetically calculate the exact copyright terms necessary to incentivize creators to make new works without allowing them to capture “rents,” or profits above the bare minimum necessary. However, he argues, efficiency might not be the best goal for copyright.

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Scott Shackelford on cybersecurity and polycentric governance

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Scott Shackelford, assistant professor of business law and ethics at Indiana University, and author of the soon-to-be-published book Managing Cyber Attacks in International Law, Business, and Relations: In Search of Cyber Peace, explains how polycentric governance could be the answer to modern cybersecurity concerns.

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