Philosopher John Lennox believes you don’t have to be a computer scientist to hold discerning conversations about artificial intelligence and technology. If you wonder where we’re headed, you’re not alone! Even now, technological innovations and machine learning have a daily impact on our lives, and many of us see good reasons to dread the future. Are we doomed to the surveillance society imagined in George Orwell’s 1984?
An upcoming talk at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific institution on Friday August 4th, the closing lecture in their very successful World in 2050 series, stresses not only that individuals hold the power to make their future brighter, but that they already hold access to belief systems that will serve to make it so. Lennox believes that ethical systems we are already familiar with hold credible answers to the daunting questions that AI poses.
Lennox will discuss his latest book 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity in which he details the key developments in technological enhancement, bioengineering, and in particular artificial intelligence, examining the agreements and disagreements that scientists and experts have about the future of AI, and delving further into the key insights that Christianity and Scripture have about the nature of human beings, the soul, our moral sense, our future, and what separates us from machines.
Lennox encourages us to engage courageously with new technologies while disabusing ourselves of the notion that new information systems can only benefit us. Regulation is key. Taking the Book of Revelation, as an established ethical framework we might lean on to negotiate our way forward, he asks not only if machines should be thought capable of making autonomous moral choices but examines the inherent dangers of allowing our own moral capabilities to become diminished in fear of looking anti-science.
When it comes to Artificial Intelligence, and the ethical questions that emerge as a consequence of its rapid integration into our daily lives, how much moral responsibility can we afford to render unto Caesar? Though the triangular relationship between faith and civic society has remained with humans since time immemorial, how can the tenants of age-old scripture sit comfortably alongside the rapid technological advancement taking hold of our societies? Lennox takes us through the key issues and explores how established systems of ethics might help to negotiate the strange new world before us in a way that might surprise us.
The World in 2050 series enlisted an exciting roster of speakers to provide insight into our collective destinies and considered what we needed to understand today to ensure that our world thrives tomorrow. Join BRLSI for the closing lecture in the brilliant series exploring how we empower ourselves to become the change we want to see in the world, and watch out soon for another chance to watch the series on the BRLSI Virtual BRLSI YouTube channel.
Audience members can join the lecture live at Queen Square Bath or enjoy the event via live streaming. Each talk takes place at 7.30pm. Tickets are £4.00 for members and £8.00 for non-members.