The blurb was as follows:
Technology is no longer the limiting factor for the advancement of society but how we implement it, how it changes society and in some cases our humanity raises some big worrying questions. Is automation going to be our downfall or our saviour, what will humans do when robots replace white collar work as well as blue collar? How do we protect our privacy when everything about us can be monitored and tracked and where is the burden of responsibility to protect us? What will driverless vehicles mean to us as humans and to industry, who should they be programmed to protect?
The potential questions were as follows:
- People talk about AI taking jobs but where are we at with that now?
- What areas of automation will have themes impact on the labour market and our lives?
- Will there be enough jobs for all? Is a universal basic income going to become necessary?
- The ‘who should a self-driving vehicle save?’ dilemma
- Privacy and ethics:
- Great current example: Google Deep Mind analyzing NHS data – what are the pros and cons?
- Putting citizens in control of their own data (e.g., GM Connect). Ethically ‘the right thing’ but is it really a good idea?
I was seeking to bring my interdisciplinary humanities experience from history, media studies, educational technology, theology and now business to bear on the conversation, and brought up a number of historical comparisons (we’ve survived these moral panics before), let’s not fall for technological determinism, but didn’t manage to get in ‘will AI ever have a soul’, or reference to films such as Black Mirror and Ex-Machina!
In preparation for this panel, after looking back at my 2013 talk on ‘technology as a plug in drug‘, and my 2014 talk on ‘photoshopped selves‘, I looked at the following material (some of it was more helpful than others):
- Q&A: new EU rules on data protection put the citizen back in the driving seat (2016)
- Will Facebook be your gravestone? (2016)
- How Europe is fighting to change tech companies’ ‘wrecking ball’ ethics (2016)
- Pioneering data service to connect Greater Manchester to improved services (2016)
- Driverless cars pose worrying questions of life and death (2016)
Including the question of whether one would try and hit the most expensive person to keep alive…
- Societal, Economic, Ethical and Legal Challenges of the Digital Revolution: From Big Data to Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Manipulative Technologies (2015)
- The Moral Challenges of Driverless Cars (2015)
- The Digital Revolution and Ethics (2015)
- Where do we need new laws? (2015)
- Even in Finland, universal basic income is too good to be true (2015)
- Technology, globalisation and the future of work in Europe (2015)
- Police face new ethical dilemma in increasingly digital world (2015)
- In Praise of Short-Term Thinking (2015)
- Automation, jobs, and the future of work (2014)
- UK needs an ethics council and digital chief in every department (2014)
- How ‘clicktivism’ has changed the face of political campaigns (2014)
- A Point of View: The ethics of the driverless car (2014)
Including the range of ethical values that could be programmed by the driver, including Ayn Rand, Richard Dawkins, Sartre, Nietzsche, Albert Camus … Woody Allen and Ludwig Wittgenstein models!
- Google ethics adviser: The law needs bold ideas to address the digital age (2014)
- Facial recognition: is the technology taking away your identity? (2014)
- Smart robots, driverless cars work – but they bring ethical issues too (2013)
- Information Technology and Moral Values (2012)
- Technology and the Ethics of Responsibility (2011)
- Responsibility in Technological Civilization: In Search of the Responsible Subject (2011)
- Technology and Ethics: Privacy in the Workplace (undated)
and, wow, just search ‘artificial intelligence will take over‘!
I also collected a few tweets from the day:
Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture in the third sector (especially faith). Author of ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age’, regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.