APPE – Vivian Weil Lecture

APPE 2018 Conference
Vivian Weil Lecture
featuring Eleonore Pauwels

The Vivian Weil Lecture is held to honor the memory of Dr. Vivian Weil, Professor of Philosophy and former director of the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Dr. Weil was a founding member of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE), served on the APPE Executive Board (Committee), and as APPE Executive Board Chair for twenty years (1990 – 2013). Dr. Weil had a broad spectrum of research interests and was a pioneer in the field of engineering ethics.

For this year’s Vivian Weil Lecture, please join us for a presentation by Eleonore Pauwels:

Artificial Intelligence and Converging Technologies:
Promises and Perils in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the verge of invading every major industry. It will ensure our cities run efficiently and our every desire is met. In the lab, AI systems already help decipher the secrets inside our genomes. In its narrow intelligent form, AI is also enhancing our cars, smartphones, search engines, and personal assistants; on the sidewalks, assisting in city surveillance, traffic monitoring, and predictive policing – the list is extensive and growing.

Yet, AI technologies won’t just be geared towards individual consumers. Governments and military forces will reap significant benefits from the proliferation of AI to connect information superiority with economic and military power. Following its doctrine of civil-military fusion, China is becoming an early-adopter of AI surveillance technologies both within cyber-warfare intelligence circles and within its “city brain.” Surveillance will also reach the workplace as a US-based company has already implanted some employees with radio frequency identification (RFID) microchips.

Pauwels’ talk provides a deep dive into the privacy and security issues, the ethical and legal quandaries, raised by our virtual intelligent futures. AI could revolutionize how humanity copes with complex socio-technical problems, from decoding our genomes to optimizing our cities, transforming human experience for the better. But the technology could also radically alter our notions of privacy and offer corporations, hackers, or governments new ways to exploit, manipulate, and oppress people.

This event is co-sponsored by the Illinois Institute of Technology
Introduction by Elisabeth Hildt

Eleonore Pauwels is the Director of the AI Lab with the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Wilson Center. She is a writer and international science policy expert, who specializes in the governance and democratization of converging technologies. Leading the AI Lab, Pauwels analyzes and compares how transformative technologies, such as artificial intelligence and genome-editing, raise new opportunities and challenges for health, security, economics and governance in different geo-political contexts. She analyzes the promises and perils that will likely arise with the development of AI civil and military technologies, the Internet of Living Things and future networks of intelligent and connected bio-labs.

Pauwels regularly testifies before U.S. and European authorities including the U.S. Department of State, NAS, NIH, NCI, FDA, the National Intelligence Council, the European Commission and the UN. But she is also well-versed in communicating complex and novel scientific developments for lay audiences (her TEDxCERN on CRISPR) and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as Nature, The New York Times, The Guardian, Scientific American, Le Monde, Slate and The Miami Herald.

Outside of the Wilson Center, Pauwels is an aspiring social entrepreneur interested in democratizing science and technology, in particular AI, genomics and biology, for underserved populations in the USA and globally. Bilingual in French and English, her blog can be found here.

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