In AI We Trust07-29-2021
The Hannah Arendt Humanities Network of OSUN partnered with the Central European University (CEU) and the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna to award Helga Nowotny, former President of the European Research Council and Professor Emerita of Science and Technology Studies, ETH Zurich, the first annual Yehuda Elkana Fellowship. Nowotny’s new book In AI We Trust explores the opportunities and dangers posed by the increasing role of intelligent algorithms in our world. You can read about the event here:
Nowotny’s address and the workshop discussions focused on a series of paradoxes regarding the limits of human certainty. Nowotny and the scholars established the fact that people have always yearned to know the future and master their fates. AI and predictive algorithms offer people the uncanny knowledge that gives useful insights on phenomena as diverse as the weather, the economy, and human behavior. With this unprecedented ability to predict the future, the demand for certainty grows, even though human life itself remains irrational and unpredictable. While artificial intelligence is deployed to simplify and master the world, artificial intelligence also makes the human world more complicated.
Nowotny and the scholars agreed that what people too often neglect to ask is: How does the desire and conviction to know the future–and the increasing ability to predict the future–affect humans? What happens to humans–fallible, passionate, unpredictable beings–when they put their trust and faith in AI and algorithms to predict and plan the future?