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12:30 -13:30 pm
Speaker: Austin Clyde
Room: JCL 298
AI and Democracy
Artificial intelligence has impacted social, political, and economic spaces to unimaginable extents. AI is a new significant source of global power. With the incredible power to produce technological short-cuts for scientific discovery, financial sales through marketing, and reconfigure the material and social world, how do we involve citizens in asking what is the kind of world we all want to live in? To a certain extent, this question will be answered through extensive regulation currently being drafted in Europe. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has been hiring experts in artificial intelligence, and the White House Office of Science and Technology is drafting an AI “bill of rights.” How do we, as computer scientists, begin to think about the essential and existential unfolding of artificial intelligence on democracy? Do we have any responsibility to think about questions of politics, let alone ethics? How might our work be affected in one, five, or ten years? In this talk, I will share how ‘AI ethics’ is unfolding inside and outside of computer science departments. I will then shift the discussion to contextualize it within more critical questions in political theory. I aim to highlight what is at stake for concerned and unconcerned computer scientists as both will be affected by regulation and the state of fact which emerges.
Austin is a third-year Ph.D. student studying AI methods for science advised by Rick Stevens. He is visiting science, technology, and society research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, focusing on the intersection of democracy, science, and artificial intelligence.