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Harold K. Schilling Memorial Lecture - AI and a Future Worth Wanting: How to Harmonize Machine and Human Values

by krr5072 Aug 24, 2017
When Sep 15, 2017
from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Where 401 Steidle Building
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Harold K. Schilling Memorial Lecture

Speaker: Shannon Vallor

Shannon Vallor is the William J. Rewak, S.J. Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Santa Clara University, where her research addresses the ethical implications of emerging science and technology, especially AI, robotics and new media. Professor Vallor received the 2015 World Technology Award in Ethics from the World Technology Network. She has served as President of the international Society for Philosophy and Technology, sits on the Executive Board of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, and is a member of the IEEE Standards Association's Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems. She is the recent author of Technology and the Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Abstract: The emergence of task-specific artificial intelligence (AI) across a broad range of new industries and social contexts is rapidly transforming every domain of human activity, from commerce and transportation to education and medicine. Every system that makes, sells, or distributes goods and services to human beings has the opportunity to benefit – and to be radically destabilized by – this new wave of AI-driven automation and support. This creates an unprecedented ethical imperative for AI researchers, designers, and users, and for the companies and institutions that employ them. Artificial intelligence is immensely powerful, but it is not magic – it does not run without human intelligence. In fact, the future of an AI-driven world depends less upon technical advances in machine learning algorithms and big data than it does upon how wisely and ethically humans will manage AI’s transformative social effects. To secure a future with AI that is worth wanting, human beings must build robust new ethical norms, structures, and incentives that promote responsible AI design, development, and implementation, in ways that realize AI's full potential to enrich, rather than degrade, the quality of existence for the human family. This requires that we improve our understanding of the relationship between machine values commonly reflected in AI design, and complex human values (such as justice, compassion, creativity, liberty, and self-realization) that are central to the quality of human experience and sociality. Using concrete examples drawn from emerging and prospective applications of AI research, this talk will demonstrate how machine and human values can be brought into greater harmony by wise and ethical choices in AI design and implementation.

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