Simon Coghlan

Simon Coghlan
University of Melbourne | MSD · School of Computing and Information Systems

PhD (Philosophy), BVSc, Grad Cert (Higher Education)

About

59
Publications
10,210
Reads
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386
Citations
Introduction
Simon Coghlan is a Senior Research Fellow in Digital Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He researches in robot ethics, ethics and AI, and animal ethics.

Publications

Publications (59)
Preprint
Research into companion robots for older adults, including those who are socially isolated and lonely, continues to grow. Although some insight into older adults' preferences for various robotic types and functionality is emerging, we lack research examining how these robots fulfil or challenge a range of values and aspirations individuals have in...
Article
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This paper argues that ethical reflection and dialogue can assist in understanding what animal welfare is. Questions about animal welfare’s nature are thorny and contested. Responding to an essay by Donald Bruckner, the paper acknowledges that animal welfare is a type of normative value (namely prudential value) distinct from ethical value and that...
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Invasion biology is increasingly facing criticism for its moral attitude towards and treatment of “invasive alien species.” In this paper, we argue that invasion biology relies upon dubious assumptions of human supremacy. We also argue that the language and official classification of introduced animals is intertwined with their ethically problemati...
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Encouraging and supporting diversity and inclusion in computer science research communities is a critical issue for many reasons, including the ethical and robust design, delivery and publication of research that addresses real-world situations ranging from the use of digital tools in health to predictive policing to workplace hiring practices, jus...
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Online exam supervision technologies have recently generated significant controversy and concern. Their use is now booming due to growing demand for online courses and for off-campus assessment options amid COVID-19 lockdowns. Online proctoring technologies purport to effectively oversee students sitting online exams by using artificial intelligenc...
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This paper examines how digital technologies might be used to improve ethical attitudes towards nonhuman animals, by exploring the case study of nonhuman apes kept in modern zoos. The paper describes and employs a socio-ethical framework for undermining anti-ape prejudice advanced by philosopher Edouard Machery which draws on classic anti-racism st...
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Some claim that digital phenotyping will revolutionize understanding of human psychology and experience and significantly promote human wellbeing. This paper investigates the nature of digital phenotyping in relation to its alleged promise. Unlike most of the literature to date on philosophy and digital phenotyping, which has focused on its ethical...
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One Health is a ground-breaking philosophy for improving health. It imaginatively challenges centuries-old assumptions about wellbeing and is now widely regarded as the ‘best solution’ for mitigating human health problems, including pandemic zoonotic diseases. One Health’s success is imperative because without big changes to the status quo, great s...
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Medical students will almost inevitably encounter powerful medical AI systems early in their careers. Yet, contemporary medical education does not adequately equip students with the basic clinical proficiency in medical AI needed to use these tools safely and effectively. Education reform is urgently needed, but not easily implemented, largely due...
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Video game players sometimes give voice to an “intuition” that violently harming nonhuman animals in video games is particularly ethically troubling. However, the moral issue of violence against nonhuman animals in video games has received scant philosophical attention, especially compared to the ethics of violence against humans in video games. Th...
Article
Our title alludes to the three Christmas ghosts encountered by Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, who guide Ebenezer through the past, present, and future of Christmas holiday events. Similarly, our article takes readers through a journey of the past, present, and future of medical AI. In doing so, we focus on the crux of modern machine learnin...
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Care robots are likely to perform increasingly sophisticated caring activities that some will consider comforting and valuable. They will get increasingly humanlike and lifelike. This paper addresses the conceptual question: Even if robots can assist and ease people’s suffering, can such machines provide humanistic care? Arguably, humanistic care i...
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Compassionate conservation holds that compassion should transform conservation. It has prompted heated debate and has been criticized strongly. We reviewed the debate to characterize compassionate conservation and to philosophically analyze critiques that are recurring and that warrant further critical attention. The necessary elements of compassio...
Conference Paper
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Those working on policy, digital ethics and governance often refer to issues in 'computer science', that includes, but is not limited to, common subfields of Artificial and Systems Architecture. Within this framework, this paper is a preliminary exploration of two hypotheses, namely 1) Each community has differing inclusion of minoritised groups (u...
Preprint
Full-text available
Those working on policy, digital ethics and governance often refer to issues in `computer science', that includes, but is not limited to, common subfields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Computer Science (CS) Computer Security (InfoSec), Computer Vision (CV), Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Information Systems, (IS), Machine Learning (ML), Natur...
Article
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly of tremendous interest in the medical field. How-ever, failures of medical AI could have serious consequences for both clinical outcomes and the patient experience. These consequences could erode public trust in AI, which could in turn undermine trust in our healthcare institutions. This article makes 2...
Preprint
Full-text available
Our title alludes to the three Christmas ghosts encountered by Ebenezer Scrooge in \textit{A Christmas Carol}, who guide Ebenezer through the past, present, and future of Christmas holiday events. Similarly, our article will take readers through a journey of the past, present, and future of medical AI. In doing so, we focus on the crux of modern ma...
Preprint
Full-text available
This article philosophically analyzes online exam supervision technologies, which have been thrust into the public spotlight due to campus lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing demand for online courses. Online exam proctoring technologies purport to provide effective oversight of students sitting online exams, using artificial int...
Preprint
Full-text available
The use of audio and textual chatbots, one type of digital intermediary, is pervasive and changing the way that we engage with computers and each other. Chatbots raise a wide range of legal and ethical issues, including questions about suitability for the user group, data collection, security of data storage and privacy, later linking of data, repu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly of tremendous interest in the medical field. However, failures of medical AI could have serious consequences for both clinical outcomes and the patient experience. These consequences could erode public trust in AI, which could in turn undermine trust in our healthcare institutions. This article makes two...
Article
Increasing recognition of youth mental-health problems has created demand for expanded services and more equitable service access. This has put pressure on face-to-face clinical services, leading to growing interest in the efficacy of technology-based mental-health interventions and the values and ethical perspectives that inform these intervention...
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Compassionate conservation argues that actions taken to protect the Earth's diversity of life should be guided by compassion for all sentient beings. A set of essays published in Conservation Biology call to reject compassionate conservation. Critics argue that there are situations in which harming animals in conservation programs is appropriate. T...
Article
Although veterinarians encounter ethical challenges in their everyday practice, few studies have examined how they make sense of and respond to them. This research used semi-structured interviews and a qualitative methodology (phenomenological and constructivist/interpretivist approaches) to explore ethical challenges experienced by seven small ani...
Preprint
Full-text available
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its application in medicine has generated ample interest amongst policymakers and clinicians. Successes with AI n medical imaging interpretation and clinical decision support are paving the way for its incorporation into routine healthcare delivery. While there has been a focus on the development of ethical principl...
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The Montréal Declaration for Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence states that emerging technologies ought not “encourage cruel behaviour towards robots that take on the appearance of human beings or animals and act in a similar fashion.” The idea of a causal link between cruelty and kindness to artificial and living beings, human or a...
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As the efficacy of artificial intelligence (AI) in improving aspects of healthcare delivery is increasingly becoming evident, it becomes likely that AI will be incorporated in routine clinical care in the near future. This promise has led to growing focus and investment in AI medical applications both from governmental organizations and technologic...
Preprint
As the efficacy of artificial intelligence (AI) in improving aspects of healthcare delivery is increasingly becoming evident, it becomes likely AI will be incorporated in routine clinical care in the near future. This promise has led to a growing focus and investment in AI medical applications both from governmental organisations and technological...
Article
THIS series gives readers the opportunity to consider and contribute to discussion of some of the ethical dilemmas that can arise in veterinary practice. Each month, a case scenario is presented, followed by discussion of some of the issues involved. In addition, a possible way forward is suggested; however, there is rarely a cut-and-dried answer i...
Conference Paper
Robot pets are being developed and deployed to provide companionship for older adults. While robot pets offer some therapeutic benefits, their intended use for 'companionship' often provokes ethical debate, including concern that interactions with robot pets are demeaning or lack value compared to other social interactions. Another concern is that...
Article
THIS series gives readers the opportunity to consider and contribute to discussion of some of the ethical dilemmas that can arise in veterinary practice. Each month, a case scenario is presented, followed by discussion of some of the issues involved. In addition, a possible way forward is suggested; however, there is rarely a cut-and-dried answer i...
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Full-text available
This essay examines the fundamental role of veterinarians in companion animal practice by developing the idea of veterinarians as strong advocates for their nonhuman animal patients. While the practitioner-patient relationship has been explored extensively in medical ethics, the relation between practitioner and animal patient has received relative...
Article
An expert in animal law asks if you will lend your veterinary expertise to a project appealing for a law change regarding pets. This change would legally recognise emotional damages arising from veterinary malpractice. Pet owners could sue for compensation, capped at £10,000, for emotional harm when veterinary negligence causes the death of an anim...
Article
In 1971, Herbert Spiegelberg challenged philosophers to refine and deepen the vivid idea of human dignity to prevent its degeneration. Although philosophers, including Michael Rosen and Jeremy Waldron, have responded with valuable insights, the full moral depth of dignity has remained philosophically elusive. Furthermore, many philosophers still th...
Article
THIS series gives readers the opportunity to consider and contribute to discussion of some of the ethical dilemmas that can arise in veterinary practice. Each month, a case scenario is presented, followed by discussion of some of the issues involved. In addition, a possible way forward is suggested; however, there is rarely a cut-and-dried answer i...
Article
THIS series gives readers the opportunity to consider and contribute to discussion of some of the ethical dilemmas that can arise in veterinary practice. Each month, a case scenario is presented, followed by discussion of some of the issues involved. In addition, a possible way forward is suggested; however, there is rarely a cut-and-dried answer i...
Article
Full-text available
Morally unequal treatment of different nonhuman species, like pigs and dogs, can seem troublingly inconsistent. A position Todd May calls moral individualism and relationalism appears to justify the moral discomfit attending such species-differentiated treatment. Yet some of its basic assumptions are challenged by a philosophical style Roger Scruto...
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Many attacks against the anthropocentric prejudice that nonhuman animals have a slight or impoverished ethical subjecthood are also attacks on the humanistic idea of human moral uniqueness. This essay examines a way of overturning that anthropocentric prejudice by deploying certain conceptual resources of an expansive ethical humanism. Although thi...
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The decades-old trade of exporting nonhuman mammals by ship from Australia became a major political issue in 2011, when video taken by animal rights group Animals Australia was broadcast on television, showing Australian cattle being appallingly abused in Indonesian abattoirs. Taking its cue from the unprecedented response from Australians to the 2...
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In this essay I respond to the general public debate that we have seen so far concerning the prospect of cloning nonhuman mammals by Nuclear Somatic Transfer, or NST. In this process, the genetic material from an adult, differentiated cell is transferred to an enucleated oocyte. The resulting cell is then induced to develop so that the new individu...
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Claims that some sorts of genuine moral behavior exist in nonhuman beings are increasingly common. Many people, however, remain unconvinced, despite growing acceptance of the remarkable behavioral complexity of animals and despite the admission that there may be significant differences between human and nonhuman moral behavior. This paper argues th...

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Projects (4)
Project
This project is undertaking a state-of-the-art review of current literature, policies, guidelines, and discussions about developing regulations and ethical frameworks for the application of AI in Healthcare.