The revolution in information technology (artificial intelligence) calls into question nothing less than what it means to be human and the place of humans in the natural world. Rapid acceleration on the technological frontier makes it less likely that democratic regulation will be up to the task of installing sensible guardrails so that these revolutions support rather than subvert human interests and democratic stability. As a result, we must look to professional norms within computer science to help steer us. Are these up to the task? In this presentation, Prof. Reich compares professional norms in the AI community to professional norms in another sector — biotechnology. Through this comparison, Prof. Reich analyzes the deficiencies in the structure of the professional norms in the AI community and identify the most pressing next steps towards a more ethically considerate field.
Professor of Political Science, director of the Center for Ethics in Society, co-director of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, and associate director of the Institute for Human-Centered AI. He is the author of System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot (with Mehran Sahami and Jeremy M. Weinstein) and Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better (2018); Digital Technology and Democratic Theory (edited with Lucy Bernholz and Hélène Landemore, 2021). His teaching and writing these days focuses on ethics, policy, and technology.