AI and Anthropology: How technology shapes us and we shape technology

AI and Anthropology: How technology shapes us and we shape technology

September 27th 2018: In the second event of the dialogue series, Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Alexander Görlach will talk about the interplay between human and technology.

We live in times of complicated systems, disruptive developments and an exceptional growth of intelligent machines. Many people are scared by this: Will we be overrun by articial intelligence soon? Will we humans be obsolete soon? What is AI and Anthropology about?

Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Principal of Jesus College, Oxford; professorial research fellow in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, and chairman and co-founder of the Open Data Institute


Professor Alexander Görlach, Senior Fellow, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs (Photo: Philip Külker/ Vodafone Institut)

Computer Scientist Sir Nigel Shadbolt, author of „The Digital Ape“ and one of the masters of his field, dispels this panic: We were using technology before we became Homo Sapiens – the question is how we control the tools we create.

How we exercise this control to our advantage is part of the discussion between Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Professor Alexander Görlach in our second installment of our dialogue series „AI&I“. Already its first event shed a light on how technology and humans are interacting and provided a discussion about the impact of artificial intelligence in society, economy, science and politics.

Furthermore we will present exciting showcases at the event. One of it will be the adaptive music generator of melodrive, which is “the first AI music system that composes an infinite stream of original, emotionally variable music in realtime”.


Short biography of Alexander Görlach:

Alexander Görlach is a linguist and theologian who works on narratives of identity, politics and religion, and liberal democracy, as well as secularism, pluralism and cosmopolitanism. He served in various positions at Harvard University, amongst others as visiting scholar to both Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Center for European Studies.

Alex is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, a fellow at the Center for the Governance of Change at IE University in Madrid, and a senior research associate at Cambridge University’s Institute on Religion and International Studies, and a honorary professor of ethics and theology at Leuphana University of Lüneburg in Germany.

One narrative of identity he is particularly researching on is the narrativ of work. Given the rise of AI, algorithms and an increasing automatisation it is crucial for him to reassess how individuals and societies perceive work and its impact on self-worth and identity. On this topic Alexander published a paper with the Vodafone Institute and hosts the event series AI&I where he discusses the unfolding of this development with renowned figures.

Alexander Görlach is an op-ed contributor to The New York Times and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, among others. He is known as the founder of the debate-magazine The European, and served as its editor-in-chief from 2009 until 2015. Today he publishes the initiative