Proposed Research Group subject to Board Approval in Fall 2022
The widespread use of digital technologies and advances in artificial intelligence are calling into question what it is to be human and reshaping how we lead our lives and interact with each other. Whereas some of the leading minds of our time urge us to prepare for the advent of artificial general intelligence (AGI), others wonder whether artificial agents will ever become conscious, provided they are not already. How would living alongside artificial agents, equally or more intelligent than humans, refashion human life? What is the moral status of sophisticated artificial agents? Or should we rather adopt a skeptical and deflationary view concerning the grand claims made about the future of artificial intelligence?
No matter how we stand with regard to the more speculative questions raised by progress in AI and other digital technologies, it is clear that the digitization of human experience and the deployment of AI in all spheres of life create new ethical, legal, and political challenges.
How should AI and social media be regulated? Is AI ethics up to the task? Can we overcome the current epistemic crisis exacerbated by the transformation of the public sphere by digital technologies? Should we forgo the Enlightenment hope of a more widespread public use of reason? How will virtual reality transform our relation to the world and to others?
The interdisciplinary Research Group on Human Nature and Values in the Digital Age addresses both speculative and practical questions raised by the transformation of human life by digital technologies.
- Jocelyn Maclure (Philosophy)