Pontifical Academy for Life Young Researchers Conference 2019
The Pontifical Academy for Life, in partnership with the World Youth Alliance, Abigail Adams Institute, and the Harvard Students for Life, is organizing a conference for young people on the weekend of October 11-12, 2019, at Harvard University.
The focus of the conference will consist of formation in philosophical anthropology within the context of advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence, i.e. reflecting on question such as "what does it mean to be human as robots become more and more human-like?", "is it possible to have a robot that is indistinguishable from human beings?".
The conference will also be a space for participants to work on a document on this topic, addressed to young people around the world, reflecting on what it means to be human amidst all of these advances in technology.
This conference is open to young professionals and students <35 years old. In addition, most of the speakers are other young professionals and young adults working in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence.
If you have any questions, please email John Rhee at
Thank you very much.
Tentative Conference Outline:
October 11th, 2019 (Friday) - The Science
7:00PM: Introduction to the Conference & Meet and Greet
7:30PM: Advances in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence and the Theory of How it Works
8:30PM: Q&A / Discussion (Group of young professionals)
October 12th, 2019 (Saturday) - The Philosophy and Anthropology
9:00AM: Philosophical Anthropology: What does it mean to be human? Can a Robot be a Person?
10:00AM: Can a Machine Act Ethically? Human action vs machine agency
11:00AM: AI and Human Flourishing
12:00PM Question & Answer with Speakers
1:00PM Lunch Break
2:00PM Taking responsibility for Decisions about Technological Development and Resisting the Ideology of Technological Determinism
3:00PM Consciousness: What’s possible and what’s not?
4:00PM Question & Answer with Speakers
4:30PM Discussion Groups (Evelyn, Sara)
Area of Study
The cost of the conference is $10 for students and $15 for young professionals. You can pay for the conference at this website:
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