CfA: Governing Artificial Intelligence
Mancept Workshops, 11-13 September 2023, University of Manchester.
Convenor: Markus Furendal (Department of Political Science, Stockholm University)
As the development of increasingly capable Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues at a striking speed, questions around the social and ethical impact of AI technology – and how it ought to be shaped politically – are more pressing than ever. For instance, as government agencies and public institutions turn to automated or AI-assisted bureaucratic decision-making, AI begins to wield public authority. As complex generative AI systems begin creating text and images in an instant, writers and artists raise concerns about who can legitimately reap the rewards of applications that have been trained on data produced and processed by humans. Similarly, as AI is used to produce and spread misinformation, falsehoods, or micro-targeted, tailored ads, it is urgent to consider what kinds of (global) institutions can mitigate the expected impact this will have on the political process and generalized trust. After a period of fast AI development with little regulation, hard laws are now beginning to be rolled out, with the groundbreaking EU AI act expected to be passed in 2023. Still, most decisions about AI technology are made by private companies, fiercely competing in the market. Political philosophy may help in our search for better, more fair or democratic alternatives.
The ‘Governing Artificial Intelligence’ panel at Mancept 2021 gathered scholars interested in what was then a relatively neglected aspect of the rapidly evolving AI ethics literature. The political-philosophical debate on these issues has matured significantly in the last two years, and subfields have emerged, specializing in issues such as algorithmic bias, explainability, automated influence, and the challenge of aligning AI with human values. The panel is hence a follow-up event, organized by the same convenor, aimed at assisting this emerging research field in taking shape. What distinguishes this panel from other events concerned with AI ethics in general is that the purpose is not primarily to interrogate ethical concerns around particular AI applications. Rather, the goal is to raise more fundamental questions about how AI development and deployment ought to be shaped to begin with. In order to reach a higher level of abstraction, the panel primarily welcomes contributions that address the societal implications of AI technology, and how the governance of AI could be used to help steer us politically towards or away from particular outcomes.
Just as with the earlier panel, the purpose of the workshop is to gather academics from different career stages, and to help form a network of people interested in these issues, broadly conceived. In light of this the panel will primarily be a physical meeting in Manchester, but there are opportunities for speakers who are unable to travel to join remotely.
Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 21. The abstract should be prepared for blind review. Please include a separate document with the title of your paper, your name, e-mail address, and institutional affiliation (if applicable). Acceptance/rejection decisions will be communicated within three weeks. Speakers will be asked to submit complete papers before the workshop, which will be pre-circulated among the panel participants.
Information about Mancept Workshops:
Please note that all participants at this panel need to register for the Mancept workshops. Registration opens in May. This year’s fees are
Full price (employed academics e.g. lecturer, professor etc.): £ 230
Discounted price (PhD/Master Students): £ 135
Full price: £ 45
Discounted price: £ 20
Non-speaker: £ 15
It is possible to apply for fee waiver bursaries with the central organizers. The deadline for bursary applications (available to current graduate students only) will be the 27th June, and successful applicants will be informed by 11th July. Only people accepted to present on a panel should apply for bursaries.
Refreshments and lunch will be available between sessions. There will also be a conference dinner for all participants (at an additional charge of £ 30) on September 11.
For more information about the Mancept workshops, see https://sites.manchester.ac.uk/mancept/mancept-workshops/
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Questions regarding the specific panel and the submission should be directed to