The Science of the Predicted Human talk series

We are delighted to host Professor Shannon Vallor (University of Edinburgh) for a talk in our series on The Science of the Predicted Human. Professor Vallor's research explores the philosophy and ethics of emerging science and technologies, not least Artificial Intelligence. Please join us for this event on April 17, 10am in Goth. Aud. 1, Gothersgade 140. Title The Machine Mirror: Human Prediction and Reflection in AI Abstract Would you ever try to chart your path up a dangerous, unfamiliar mountain while looking in a mirror facing behind you? Today’s AI technologies are marketed as the key to predicting and navigating humanity’s uncertain future in a time of crisis. Yet are these new tools clear windows into our future, or are they looking-glass reflections of our past? Can they ever show us what we and our societies can become, where we might go anew, or what is possible for humanity to accomplish together for the first time? In the face of growing planetary and civilizational challenges that require letting go of the unsustainable ways of the past, humanity’s most urgent task is to embrace and renew our capacities for self-creation, moral imagination and above all, wisdom. AI too has a vital role to play in that task – if we have the courage to reclaim, rethink and rebuild these technologies in the name of humane futures. About Shannon Vallor Shannon Vallor's research investigates how human character is being transformed by rapid advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, new social media, surveillance, and biomedical technologies. She holds the Baillie Gifford Chair in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh's Edinburgh Futures Institute, where she directs the Centre for Technomoral Futures. She is also appointed as Professor in Philosophy. Before coming to University of Edinburgh, Vallor was the William J. Rewak Professor at the Department of Philosophy, Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley and also served as an AI ethicist and visiting research scientist at Google. Shannon Vallor is currently working on a new book entitled The AI Mirror: Rebuilding Humanity in an Age of Machine Thinking. The Predicted Human Being human in 2023 implies being the target of a vast number of predictive infrastructures. In healthcare, algorithms predict not only potential pharmacological cures to disease but also their possible future incidence of those diseases. In governance, citizens are exposed to algorithms that predict - not only their day-to-day behaviors to craft better policy - but also to algorithms that attempt to predict, shape and manipulate their political attitudes and behaviors. In education, children’s emotional and intellectual development is increasingly the product of at-home and at-school interventions shaped around personalized algorithms. And humans worldwide are increasingly subject to advertising and marketing algorithms whose goal is to target them with specific products and ideas they will find palatable. Algorithms are everywhere – as are their intended as well as unintended consequences. The series is arranged with generous support by the Villum Foundation and the Pioneer Center for Artificial Intelligence.


Mon 17 Apr 23


Goth. Aud. 1, Gothersgade 140