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Patrick Lin is director of the Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group, based at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he’s a philosophy professor. His research focus is technology ethics, broadly construed to include law and policy. He holds concurrent appointments at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society; University of Notre Dame’s Emerging Technologies of National Security and Intelligence (ETNSI) initiative at the Reilly Center; World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on AI and Robotics; Foundation for Responsible Robotics; and the 100-Year Study on AI. Previous affiliations include Stanford’s School of Engineering (Center for Automotive Research, CARS); US Naval Academy’s VADM Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership; Dartmouth College’s Philosophy Department; Australia’s Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE); and New America Foundation.
He has published extensively on technology ethics, from scholarly articles to popular media essays in The Atlantic, Wired, Slate, Forbes, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and other respected publications. His books include Robot Ethics (MIT Press, 2012), Robot Ethics 2.0 (Oxford University Press, 2017), and What Is Nanotechnology and Why Does It Matter? (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). His funded reports include Ethics of Hacking Back (National Science Foundation, 2016), Enhanced Warfighters: Ethics, Risk, and Policy (Greenwall Foundation, 2013), Ethics of Human Enhancement: 25 Questions and Answers (NSF, 2009), and Autonomous Military Robotics: Risk, Ethics, and Design (Office of Naval Research, 2008). He has published in leading academic journals such as Artificial Intelligence and Journal of Military Ethics.
Dr. Lin has delivered briefings and invited talks to government, military, industry, and academic organizations, including the United Nations, US DOD, CIA, DARPA, US National Institutes of Health, US National Academies, Cal-EPA, Google, Apple, Tesla, Nissan, Bosch, Daimler Benz, Stanford, Harvard, US Naval Academy, US Air Force Academy, and UCLA.
The technology areas on which he focuses include robotics (especially military systems and autonomous cars), artificial intelligence, cyberwarfare, human enhancements, nanotechnology, space exploration ethics, virtual/mixed reality, and military technologies (including nonlethal weapons).
Dr. Lin earned his BA in philosophy from UC Berkeley and PhD from UC Santa Barbara, with a background in the biosciences.