• Paolo Benanti

Ethics in AI Colloquium | Algorethics: Thinking about the Techno-Human Condition

Artificial intelligence permeates many aspects of daily living: doing an internet search, applying for a loan, looking for a job, and even getting to know a person through a platform are all activities that occur through the action of various artificial intelligence algorithms. These technologies, precisely because they are present in the background of existence, become almost invisible and are unknown to us in their true nature.

Trying to make the action of these ubiquitous tools visible and understandable and asking what to do to manage them and how not to oust humans from the decision-making process is the goal of this Colloquium. It tries to address the challenge of keeping humanity capable of control in an age when the machine becomes capable of surrogating human decisions. What can the machine do without human control? What decisions can it make? How to manage the possible nefarious outcomes of this delegation? Most importantly, how to ensure that the person always remains at the centre of those processes vital to the survival of our species and peaceful social coexistence?

The Institute for Ethics in AI will bring together world-leading philosophers and other experts in the humanities with the technical developers and users of AI in academia, business and government. The ethics and governance of AI is an exceptionally vibrant area of research at Oxford and the Institute is an opportunity to take a bold leap forward from this platform.

Every day brings more examples of the ethical challenges posed by AI; from face recognition to voter profiling, brain machine interfaces to weaponised drones, and the ongoing discourse about how AI will impact employment on a global scale. This is urgent and important work that we intend to promote internationally as well as embedding in our own research and teaching here at Oxford.

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