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article imageExploring AI and what it means to be human

By Tim Sandle     Oct 26, 2018 in Technology
Salve Regina University is hosting the 40th Annual Humanities and Technology Association conference that will consider various ways in which technology and crisis interrelate.
Key to the forthcoming conference is with exploring emergent technologies, artificial intelligence, their relation to crisis and what it means to be human. These are somewhat deep and profound questions, but they are important ones to be grappled with given the extent that artificial intelligence is reshaping societies. As Digital Journal recently discussed, artificial intelligence is generally a force for good, such as by making lives easier, aiding decisions and cutting down on the mundane aspects of life. However, there are some potential downsides, such a decision-based bias.
In considering the different ways by which technology and crisis interrelate, the Salve Regina University conference will consider how the technology might lie at the origins of the crisis, as seen in the information crisis brought about by Gutenberg’s printing press or, centuries later, in the aptly named Cuban Missile Crisis enabled by the creation of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Matters will also be addressed from an alternate perspective. Here, technology might play a prominent role in mitigating a crisis, for example, in the way that television brought attention and demanded a response to the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s or, more recently, how the #MeToo movement on social media has made real headway in relatively short order with regard to sexual harassment and assault.
Yet there are other perspectives too. A given crisis might lie within the development of the technology itself, as evident in the Facebook – Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal in which an online share space doubled as a means of political manipulation. A variety of these angles and perspectives will be explored at this year’s conference.
The event is being organized by Dr. Sean O’Callaghan. Presenters will include:
Dr. James Giordano, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C: “At the Threshold: Possible Trajectories, Considerations and Constraints of AI Systems in Warfare, Intelligence and National Security Operations.”
Dr. Yang Cai, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.: “Instinctive Computing – Exploring Primitive Intelligence”
Dr. Ryan D. McKendrick, Northrup Grumman Mission Systems, McLean, Va.: “Teaming, Symbiosis and a Taxonomy for Human-Machine Interaction.”
Dr. Yvonne Masakowski, associate professor at the U.S. Naval War College in the College of Leadership and Ethics, will conduct an interview with Dr. Giordano focused on “Weaponizing the Brain.” Given recent events at the embassy in Cuba and the recent ricin attack, this session promises to provide valuable insights for the future.
The event will also feature a workshop that will highlight exponential advances in Artificial Intelligence that strain our capacity to keep up while having significant implications in our personal lives, for shaping society and for defending security, as well as maintaining global security.
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