Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms and the Posthuman Future of Governance

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM (ET)
VCAM VCAM 201 Media Production/Object Study Classroom
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Weissinger, James R
Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities

Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, and the Posthuman Future of Governance
Wednesday, November 28, at 4:30 p.m.
VCAM 201

James Hughes, University of Massachusetts Boston
Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
Senior Research Fellow, Applied Ethics Center, University of Massachusetts Boston

Organized in conjunction with the HCAH Student Seminar “From Frankenstein to Alexa: A Humanistic Inquiry into the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence,” led by Nicky Rhodes ’19 and Katya Olson Shipyatsky BMC ’19

Since the Enlightenment, there have been advocates for the rationalizing efficiency of enlightened sovereigns, bureaucrats, and technocrats. Today these enthusiasms are joined by calls for replacing or augmenting government with algorithms and artificial intelligence, a process already substantially under way. Bureaucracies are in effect algorithms created by technocrats that systematize governance, and their automation simply removes bureaucrats and paper. The growth of algorithmic governance can already be seen in the automation of social services, regulatory oversight, policing, the justice system, and the military. However, there have also always been justified democratic and economic criticisms of autocracy, bureaucracy, technocracy, and algorithmic governance. Bureaucrats, technocrats, and algorithms embody biases that tend to serve the interests of elites, and all require transparency and democratic accountability, oversight individual citizens are ill equipped to exercise. As state apparatuses are increasingly automated, mechanisms for collective action and democratic oversight also need to be automated.

Supported by the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities

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