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Workshops & seminars

Concordia President's Speaker Series on Digital Futures with Shannon Vallor

Thursday, April 19, 2018
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Shannon Vallor, William J. Rewak, S.J., Professor of Philosophy, Santa Clara University


This event is free


J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve W.
De Seve Cinema



Registration for this event is now closed.

Shannon Vallor_Speaker Digital Futures

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a technology of the future, but one already shaping the present. Yet even as we reap its immense benefits, many AI systems are behaving badly: issuing judgments infected with harmful racial, gender, and class biases; failing to ‘see’ people at the margins of society; prioritizing efficiency and optimization over humane values, and exploiting unjust imbalances in power and privilege. These are not mysterious workings of alien machine ‘minds,’ but vices all too familiar, for good reason: AI is a mirror reflecting back to us images of our own imperfect humanity.

In this talk, Ms Vallor will explore what we can learn from the AI mirror, how we can effectively use it to harmonize machine and human values, and how its lessons can drive the development of a more humane future.

About Shannon Vallor

Shannon Vallor is the William J. Rewak, S.J. Professor of Philosophy at Santa Clara University, where her research and teaching examines the ethics of emerging technologies. She is the author of Technology and the Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting from Oxford University Press (2016), and editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Technology. Her many awards include the 2015 World Technology Award in Ethics and multiple teaching honors.

She is Past President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, serves on the executive leadership team of the non-profit Foundation for Responsible Robotics, and regularly advises tech media, legislators, policymakers, investors, executives, engineers and designers.


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