Erich Riesen has an M.A. in philosophy from Northern Illinois University. His background is in philosophy of mind, philosophy of cognitive science, and philosophy of biology. His dissertation is on the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI). The dissertation argues for a number of connected claims in four standalone papers. The first paper contends that philosophers often overstate the ethical concerns and negative consequences of autonomous AI systems because they are working with misguided conceptions of technology and AI. The second paper argues, controversially, that there are strong moral reasons to continue developing autonomous weapon systems (AWS) with the hope of one day creating AWS that can target enemy combatants and installations without direct human intervention. The third paper looks at the notion of machine consciousness and moral considerability, while the fourth investigates human neurological enhancement such as brain-computer interfaces.
Erich currently holds the Center for Humanities and the Arts Dissertation Completion Fellowship and is designing a new philosophy course on the ethics of artificial intelligence.