The Wolfson Berlin Lecture presents 'AI and Ethics: The Sense of Reality'

Sir Isaiah Berlin portrait image

Discussion of AI and Ethics often focus on the ethical challenges AI could pose when it develops the highest levels of sophistication. Those discussions can undoubtedly be fascinating, but can also lead to a level of abstraction which provides little help to those faced with dilemmas in the next decade. Ethics which emerge from data, and aspire to exactness, may not always be relevant to the human condition. Coming at the issues from the viewpoints of ethicist and technologist, Professors Tasioulas and Shadbolt, respectively, argue that Isaiah Berlin’s concept of the pluralism of values is important in navigating these waters. We should not try to iron out inconsistencies, but should instead build the idea of a number of competing values into our approach to the subject. The starting point for the discussion will be Isaiah Berlin’s 1953 lecture and essay “The Sense of Reality”.

Launched in 1990 to celebrate the 80th birthday of the College's Founding President, Sir Isaiah Berlin, the Berlin Lecture is in his own field of study, the history of ideas. Each Trinity Term, we welcome speakers of the stature of Professor Amartya Sen, Professor Roy Foster, Professor Timothy Garton Ash, Michael Ignatieff and Baroness Helena Kennedy.

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