The Oxford Internet Institute is excited to present the Director of the OII, Professor Philip Howard for the lecture "Tomorrow’s Leviathan: Intelligent Machines in a Political World" in London.

When will an Artificial Intelligence run for elected office? This may seem like a strange provocation– just an invitation to futurism and speculation. Yet Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are rolling out over many domains of economic, cultural and political life. They handle public policy and legal issues that humans find complex, mundane, time-consuming, or easily corrupted. They are purposefully designed to make the best possible decisions from vast quantities of information—we might hope a Prime Minister or President would adjudicate this way. But we need to move past abstract ethical problems, and be aware that we are choosing to apply AI systems to tangible social problems and politically sensitive issues. I argue that AIs are political by design, through the political values of their designers and the political nature of training data. AIs will validate some political ideas, and be pressed into service for political ideologies. In this talk, I show how AI is changing our experience of politics and rewriting democracy’s “terms of service”.

The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session, and then a drinks reception until 20:30.

Please note this event will take place in London. 

About the speakers

  • Philip Howard

    Affiliation: Oxford Internet Institute

    Phil Howard is a professor and writer. He teaches at the University of Oxford, directs the Oxford Internet Institute, and is a statutory Professor at Balliol College. He writes about information politics and international affairs, and he is the author of eight books, including The Managed Citizen, Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up, and most recently Computational Propaganda. He has won multiple “best book” awards, and his research and commentary writing has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and many international media outlets. Foreign Policy magazine named him a “Global Thinker” for 2018 and the National Democratic Institute awarded him their “Democracy Prize” for pioneering the social science of fake news.

This page was last modified on 15 May 2019