June 26, 2023

NYU Workshop on Animal and AI Consciousness

New York, NY, United States

The NYU Workshop on Animal and AI Consciousness will feature award-winning presentations from early-career scholars working on topics related to animal and AI consciousness from multidisciplinary perspectives, as well as a talk by Syd Johnson.


L. Syd Johnson, PhD, is a philosopher, bioethicist, and neuroethicist at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at Upstate Medical University. She's interested in brains of every kind, shape, and size, in neuroscientific research, and in embracing uncertainty. As an animal ethicist, she’s also interested in pushing bioethics and neuroethics to be less anthropocentric, and in overthrowing human exceptionalism and human supremacy.


Rose Guingrich is a PhD candidate in psychology and social policy at Princeton University working under the advisement of Michael Graziano. She studies how interacting with social AI agents like chatbots, digital voice assistants, and social robots can impact how we interact with people. In her work, she considers the consequences of ascribing consciousness to AI and aims to develop tools and guidelines for designing ethical AI. She was recently awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Outside of researching human-AI interaction and teaching AI ethics, she is an artist, writer, and photographer.

Ali Ladak is a PhD student in Psychology at Edinburgh University and a Researcher at Sentience Institute. His research is on the social psychology of human relations with nonhuman animals and artificial intelligences, addressing questions such as when people perceive mental states in and grant moral consideration to such entities. He also conducts some research in philosophy, addressing questions such as how we can judge whether artificial intelligences are sentient.

Leonard Dung is a Philosopher at the Centre for Philosophy and AI Research, located at the University Erlangen-Nürnberg. Previously, he earned a PhD from the Ruhr-University Bochum. Presently, he is working on the philosophy and ethics of artificial intelligence. His research especially focuses on AI sentience, AI moral status and risks, including existential risks, from advanced AI systems. Moreover, he investigates topics related to animal consciousness and welfare which were also the focus of his PhD.

Adam Bradley is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Fellow of the Hong Kong Catastrophic Risk Centre at Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

Bradford Saad has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. Since graduating, he has conducted research in philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and epistemology at the University of Antwerp's Centre for Philosophical Psychology, Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute, and Rutgers's Department of Philosophy. At present, he is a research fellow at the Sentience Institute and a researcher in philosophy of artificial intelligence at Utrecht University. His current research is focused on digital minds and catastrophic risks.