The Ethics and Empirics of Engineering Humanity Speaker Series, Spring 2023

March 20, March 27 & April 3
4:00–6:00 p.m.

Blank Rome LLP Classroom (Room 102)
John F. Scarpa Hall
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law


This interdisciplinary speaker series will cover ethical, philosophical and empirical issues surrounding the engineering of artificial and human intelligence. These include the dynamic interactions between artificial intelligence and human intelligence, how human-computer-interfaces affect humanity, how humans outsource thinking to computers and other related technologies, how digital technologies transform the production, dissemination and validation of knowledge, and how ethical values translate into technological and social decisions that affect who we are and who we are capable of being.

This speaker series has been made possible by a grant for cross-college teaching from the Office of the Provost for Teaching and Learning and is co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy.

For further information, please contact the series organizers:
Brett Frischmann, The Charles Widger Endowed University Professor in Law, Business and Economics, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
Georg Theiner, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Villanova University and Editor, Social Epistemology



Monday, March 20

"The Influencer Industry"
Emily Hund, PhD
Author, The Influencer Industry: The Quest for Authenticity on Social Media (Princeton University Press, forthcoming)
Research Affiliate, Center on Digital Culture and Society, University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication


  • Introduction
  • Book discussion
  • Q&A from the audience
  • Book signing

The first 50 attendees will receive a complimentary copy of of "The Influencer Industry."

Monday, March 27

"Moral Robots? How to Make Autonomous Robots Fit for Human Societies"
Matthias Scheutz, PhD
Professor of Computer Science, Director of the Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory and Director of the Human-Robot Interaction Degree Programs, Tufts University


Monday, April 3

"What AI Can Do, and What It Will Never Be Able To Do"
Barry Smith, PhD, FACMI
SUNY Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Julian Park Chair, Department of Philosophy and Director, National Center for Ontological Research, The State University of New York, University at Buffalo


For information on previous speakers from the series, please visit the fall 2022 page