"A world in which human interaction and emotional and facial expressions are surveilled and normed in such a way that it’s ethically defective in many different ways [is] like something straight from a 'Black Mirror' episode," says Johannes Himmelreich, assistant professor of public administration and international affairs.
“I think it's possible for AI systems not to be sentient, or at least not to the degree that humans are, and still be able to communicate with unique personalities,” says Baobao Zhang, assistant professor of political science and senior research associate in the Autonomous Systems Policy Institute.
Johannes Himmelreich, assistant professor of public administration and international affairs, was quoted in the Observer article, "Tesla’s Claim That Its Cars Are Self-Driving May Cross the Line From Permitted ‘Puffery’ to False Advertising."
Dana Radcliffe, adjunct professor of public administration and international affairs, says that although taking a stand can be tricky, "if companies are dragging their feet or not getting involved when fundamental questions of democracy are at stake, that could be a long-term threat."
"If you don’t take a stand, you’re opening yourself up to criticism of being complicit in legislation that is widely seen as violating individual rights," says Dana Radcliffe, adjunct professor of public administration and international affairs.
For people struggling to stay motivated to continue social distancing and wearing masks, cases where public officials ignore the very rules they are imposing on others can be frustrating. In the field of behavioral ethics, this phenomenon is called "ethical fading," says Dana Radcliffe, adjunct professor of public administration and international affairs. The term describes the way people deceive themselves to hide the wrongness of their choices. But, officials should be held to a higher standard, he says, especially when public health is on the line. "People who have considerable power or ability to influence others have a greater obligation to make sure that their actions match their words—because their words and actions can affect the behavior and welfare of others," says Radcliffe. Read more in the Deseret News article, "7 times public officials had double standards on COVID-19."