Monday 12 April 2021: DILEMA lecture on ‘Artificial intelligence and ethical disruption’.
Artificial Intelligence is an ethically disruptive technology: it challenges the very ethical concepts and frameworks with which it can be evaluated. AI systems bring radically new human-technology relations: rather than merely being ‘used’, they develop forms of ‘agency’, performing cognitive and physical tasks, and creating a new, technological environment. Moreover, they typically affect the human mind: AI interferes with human interpretations, decision-making, and creativity. Concepts like agency, responsibility, and intentionality, therefore, need to be reinterpreted in order to develop an adequate ethical approach to AI.
The lecture will address this ethical disruption in three steps. First, it will analyse the new human-technology relations that AI brings: how do digital technologies affect human practices, decisions, and interpretive frameworks? And how do new, hybrid forms of intentionality emerge from this, in which human and technological systems are connected in novel ways? Second, it will investigate how these new human-technology relations challenge central ethical concepts and frameworks. How should we understand the influence of digital technologies on moral actions, decision-making and value frameworks? Finally, it will explain how the approach of ‘guidance ethics’ can be helpful in addressing the ethical challenges that AI brings.