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A.I. in society – opportunities and risks

With Professor Luciano Floridi
11 Jun 2019
With Professor Luciano Floridi

In this talk, I discuss the opportunities and risks generated by our increasing success in engineering Artificial Intelligence—smart and autonomous agents able to learn—and how that success might shape our everyday lives. I argue that: (a) AI’s opportunities and risks are best understood if we interpret AI not as a marriage but as a divorce between the ability to solve problems and the necessity of being intelligent in doing so; (b) AI does not lead to any fanciful realization of science fiction scenarios which are at best distracting and at worst irresponsible; (c) human intelligent behaviour is confronted by artificial smart behaviour that can be more successful than we are in some tasks; (d) human autonomy is confronted by artificial autonomy that can predict and manipulate it; and (e) human sociable behaviour is confronted by its artificial counterpart which can be both attractive for humans and indistinguishable by them. I conclude that all this invites us to reflect more seriously and less complacently about who we are, could be, would like to become, and also about our self-understanding and our ethical responsibilities towards the world and each other. We need ethical design and foresight analysis of AI and of the information societies in which we would like to live.

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