Ethics in AI Live Event: Open Democracy in the Age of AI

ethics ai

This event is also part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the
future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.


Live Event: Friday 13 November 2020, 5.00pm

Watch the event here


Representative democracy is a system born in the eighteenth century under different epistemological, conceptual, and technological constraints. What if we could reinvent democracy from scratch today, using all the tools are our disposal since the digital revolution? In this colloquium, Hélène Landemore explores how her new paradigm of “open democracy,” in which the center of power is meant to be accessible to all equally, could be technologically empowered and AI-augmented to meet 21st century expectations and challenges.


Chaired by Professor John Tasioulasthe inaugural Director for the Institute for Ethics and AI, and Professor of Ethics and Legal Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford. Professor Tasioulas was at The Dickson Poon School of Law, Kings College London, from 2014, as the inaugural Chair of Politics, Philosophy & Law and Director of the Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy & Law. He 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, and Reader in Moral and Legal Philosophy at the University of Oxford, where he taught from 1998-2010. He has also acted as a consultant on human rights for the World Bank.


Professor Andrew Briggs developed the application of acoustic microscopy to image and measure the elastic structure of a wide range of materials, developing the theory to explain how cracks and other defects give rise to surface wave contrast. His 1992 monograph Acoustic Microscopy remains in print, with a new chapter on acoustically excited probe microscopy in the second edition (2010). With J.-P. Salvetat he used atomic force microscopy to determine the elastic constants of single-walled carbon nanotube ropes, subsequently extending the work to multiwalled nanotubes and biological microtubules.

He used high temperature scanning tunneling microscopy to obtain new insights into the surfaces of oxides that are insulating at room temperature and into the growth of semiconductors in real time. His atomic resolution images of surfaces of UO2, NiO and CoO, and also TiO2 and CeO2 yielded information about the local electronic properties and bonding, paving the way for new theory. He used elevated temperature STM to understand homo- and heteroepitaxial growth on silicon surfaces. By using gas precursors he was able to visualize growth directly in real space with atomic resolution in real time, from single atom dynamics to growth of several monolayers.


Professor Pratap Bhanu Mehta is currently University Professor and Professor of Political Science at Ashoka University. He has previously been Vice Chancellor of Ashoka University and President of the Centre for Policy Research. He has published widely on political theory, constitutional law and society and politics in India. His most recent book is the Oxford Handbook to the Constitution of India ( Jointly edited with Madhav Khosla and Sujit Choudhary).  In public policy roles he has served as Member Convenor of the Prime Minister of India’s National Knowledge Commission, and a member  of the National Security Advisory Board.  He is also a columnist and editorial consultant to the Indian Express. 


Professor Hélène Landemore (Yale) is Associate Professor of Political Science, with Tenure. Her research and teaching interests include democratic theory, political epistemology, theories of justice, the philosophy of social sciences (particularly economics), constitutional processes and theories, and workplace democracy. Hélène is the author of Hume (Presses Universitaires de France: 2004), a historical and philosophical investigation of David Hume’s theory of decision-making; Democratic Reason (Princeton University Press: 2013, Spitz prize 2015), an epistemic defense of democracy; and Open Democracy (Princeton University Press 2020), a vision for a new kind, more open form of democracy based on non-electoral forms of representation, including representation based on random selection.