Upcoming Events:

Sept. 22, 2020
5:00 – 6:00 PM
(17:00) CEST
Lecture Series
Barbara J. Grosz (Harvard, USA):
“An AI and Computer Science Dilemma: Could I? Should I?”

Computing technologies have become pervasive in daily life. Predominant uses of them involve communities rather than isolated individuals, and they operate across diverse cultures and populations. Systems designed to serve one purpose may have unintended harmful consequences. To create systems that are “society-compatible”, designers and developers of innovative technologies need to recognize and address the ethical considerations that should constrain their design. For students to learn to think not only about what technology they could create, but also whether they should create that technology, computer science curricula must expand to include ethical reasoning about the societal value and impact of these technologies. This talk will describe Harvard’s Embedded EthiCS program, a novel approach to integrating ethics into computer science education that incorporates ethical reasoning throughout courses in the standard computer science curriculum. It changes existing courses rather than requiring wholly new courses. The talk will describe the goals of Embedded EthiCS, the way the program works, lessons learned and challenges to sustainable implementations of such a program across different types of academic institutions. This approach was motivated by my experiences teaching the course “Intelligent Systems: Design and Ethical Challenges”, which I will describe briefly first.

Moderator: Erich Prem (eutema & TU Wien, Austria)
Oct. 06, 2020
5:00 – 6:00 PM
(17:00) CEST
Lecture Series
Paul Timmers, Ciaran Martin, Margot Dor, and Georg Serentschy
“Digital Sovereignty – Navigating Between Scylla and Charybdis”

This panel debate will have a hard and critical look at the sense and nonsense of digital sovereignty.

We will debunk some of the terminology that is being thrown around in debates on digital sovereignty, analyse the good, the bad, and the ugly of geopolitical technology battles between the USA and China and provide specific look insight into two harbingers of the emerging perceptions of sovereignty in cyberspace: global telecommunications and global standardization.

We invite the audience to be part of the debate to increase with the panel our understanding how Europe can best navigate the good, the bad and the ugly of geopolitics and the digital world.

Prof Paul Timmers will set the scene by a critical reflection where we are in the debate on ‘digital sovereignty’ and consequences for EU policy development. Paul Timmers is at the European University Cyprus, Research Associate at Oxford University, Senior Advisor at EPC, former Director European Commission, and leading thinker on strategic autonomy and digital sovereignty.

Subsequently, we will engage in a panel and audience discussion where three leading cybersecurity personalities will put forward their response to the scene setter:

Prof Ciaran Martin, Oxford University, former head UK NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre), a world top person in cybersecurity, recent interview by the Financial Times on east-west split over the internet.

Dr Margot Dor, Strategy Director of ETSI a European Standards Organization, driver of the Carl Bildt Report on Strategic Standardisation for Europe in the Digital Era

Dr Georg Serentschy, advisor on telecoms and IT, senior advisor SquirePattonBoggs, Board of Directors International Telecommunications Society, former Head of BEREC (European Telecoms Regulators).

Moderator: Lynda Hardman (CWI – Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam)

Past Events:

September 8, 2020 Lecture Series
Stuart Russell (University of California, Berkeley, USA):
“How Not to Destroy the World with Artificial Intelligence!“

I will briefly survey recent and expected developments in AI and their implications. Some are enormously positive, while others, such as the development of autonomous weapons and the replacement of humans in economic roles, may be negative. Beyond these, one must expect that AI capabilities will eventually exceed those of humans across a range of real-world-decision making scenarios. Should this be a cause for concern, as Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and others have suggested? And, if so, what can we do about it? While some in the mainstream AI community dismiss the issue, I will argue that the problem is real and that the technical aspects of it are solvable if we replace current definitions of AI with a version based on provable benefit to humans.

Moderator: Helga Nowotny (Chair of the ERA Council Forum Austria and Former President of the ERC)
July 14, 2020 Lecture Series
“Corona Contact Tracing – the Role of Governments and Tech Giants”
Alfonso Fuggetta (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), James Larus (EPFL, Switzerland)
Moderator: Jeff Kramer (Imperial College London, UK)
June 9, 2020 Lecture Series
Moshe Vardi (Rice University, USA):
“Lessons for Digital Humanism from Covid-19”

May 14, 2020
“Digital Humanism: Informatics in Times of COVID-19”
April 4, 2019 Workshop
“Vienna Workshop on Digital Humanism”