Ethics in AI Colloquium with Ted Lechterman

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Book Launch Event

Ethics in AI Colloquium - presented by the Institute for Ethics in AI 


Live Event: Thursday 18 November 2021, 5.00pm -6.15pm

Watch here.


The Institute for Ethics in AI will bring together world-leading philosophers and other experts in the humanities with the technical developers and users of AI in academia, business and government. The ethics and governance of AI is an exceptionally vibrant area of research at Oxford and the Institute is an opportunity to take a bold leap forward from this platform.

Every day brings more examples of the ethical challenges posed by AI; from face recognition to voter profiling, brain machine interfaces to weaponised drones, and the ongoing discourse about how AI will impact employment on a global scale. This is urgent and important work that we intend to promote internationally as well as embedding in our own research and teaching here at Oxford.


Book description:

The Tyranny of Generosity investigates what democracy demands from philanthropic giving and the policies that structure it. Drawing on political philosophy but addressed to a wide audience, it sheds new light on how philanthropy can both frustrate and facilitate democratic ideals. The book evaluates the respective roles of philanthropy and government, public subsidies for private giving, the use of donations for political speech, instruments of perpetual giving, the rise in giving by commercial corporations, and “effective altruism” as a guide for individual giving. Written accessibly, it is a book for anyone who’s ever had mixed feelings about clicking the “donate” button or thanking a benefactor.



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Ted Lechterman is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Ethics in AI at the University of Oxford, where he is also affiliated with Wolfson College. Lechterman’s research investigates what makes democracy valuable and how that value applies to different practices and agents. His current work considers the challenges and opportunities that artificial intelligence creates for democratic ideals. He has also written extensively on how democratic values apply to private initiatives to promote the public good. Lechterman was trained at Harvard (A.B.) and Princeton (M.A., Ph.D.) and has held postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford, Goethe-Universität, and the Hertie School. He regularly advises organizations and contributes to public debates in North America and Europe.




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Maribel Morey is a historian of U.S. philanthropy and the social sciences, the founding executive director of the Miami Institute for the Social Sciences, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to enable the scientific output of the Global Majority to play its proper role in the social transformation and development of our shared world as well as the theoretical advancement of the social sciences. She is the author of White Philanthropy: Carnegie Corporation’s An American Dilemma and the Making of a White World Order (University of North Carolina Press, October 2021). Morey has a PhD in History from Princeton University and a JD from New York University School of Law. 


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Chiara Cordelli is associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. She works on a variety of topics in social and political philosophy, including questions of distributive justice, political legitimacy, normative defenses of the state, and the ethics of philanthropy and assistance. She is the author of The Privatized State (Princeton University Press, 2020) and the co-editor of Philanthropy in Democratic Societies (University of Chicago Press, 2016). Cordelli held visiting positions at Stanford (2011-13), Princeton (2014-15) and Harvard (2018-19).



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Chaired by John Tasioulas, the inaugural Director for the Institute for Ethics and AI, and Professor of Ethics and Legal Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford. He was previously the inaugural Chair of Politics, Philosophy & Law and Director of the Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy & Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law, Kings College London. 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 was previously a Lecturer in Jurisprudence at the University of Glasgow, Reader in Moral and Legal Philosophy at the University of Oxford, where he taught from 1998-2010, and Quain Professor of Jurisprudence at University College London. He has also 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. 


Find out more about the full Institute for Ethics in AI programme here.