Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and a Right to a Human Decision with John Tasioulas
On May 1, 2023, Princeton University's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions hosted John Tasioulas for its annual Harold T. Shapiro Lecture on Ethics, Science, and Technology.
The spectacular emergence into the public domain over the past few months of generative AI applications based on large language models, such as ChatGPT and Bing, has underscored a disturbing time lag between technological advance and regulatory vision. One question raised by this phenomenon is: what is the ethical framework that will enable a compelling regulatory approach to AI to emerge? This lecture will argue that a broadly Aristotelian ethical framework has great promise in this respect and has notable advantages over the utilitarian approach that tends to be rather uncritically adopted by many theorists and policy-makers in the AI domain. The lecture then considers two topics from this perspective 1) the place of work in a meaningful life, and how the impact of developments in AI bear on work as a source of human fulfillment. In particular, are those theorists right who suggest that play can take the place of work in a future shaped by AI? and 2) whether developments in AI require fundamental revisions to our human rights framework. In particular, should we acknowledge a human right to a human decision with the result that certain forms of decision-making should be reserved exclusively to our fellow human beings.
Professor John Tasioulas is the inaugural Director for the Institute for Ethics and AI, and Professor of Ethics and Legal Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford. Professor Tasioulas has degrees in Law and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne, and a D.Phil in Philosophy from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He has held visiting appointments at the Australian National University, the University of Chicago, Harvard University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Notre Dame. Professor Tasioulas has acted as a consultant on human rights for the World Bank and is a member of the International Advisory Board of the European Parliament's Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA). He has published widely in moral, legal, and political philosophy.