The course aims at confronting students with the epistemological challenge of Artificial Intelligence and make them familiar with the philosophical problems which are related to this challenge
The Bergamo Lectures on the Epistemology of AI will confront classic concepts of humanities with the new technologies of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Quantum Computing. The hype, hopes and horror of these technologies, potential and real, will be at the centre of our discussions.
The 30 hours of interactive lectures will be given by Paul Nemitz and Matthias Pfeffer, who are Co-authors of “Prinzip Mensch – Macht, Freiheit und Demmokratie im Zeitalter der Künstlichen Intelligenz”, 2020. Their book made it on to the shortlist for the Political Book of the Year in 2021 in Germany.
The still unpublished english translation of their book, “The Human Imperative – Power, Liberty and Democracy in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”, will be exclusive reading materials for students.
The lectures will investigate notions like human reason, intelligence, knowledge, consciousness, trust, liberty and free will, deliberation, democracy, power, solidarity, innovation, ethics and law and ask questions as to what role new technologies such as AI, Crypto and Quantum play today and could play in the future in relation to these notions.
The lecture starts from challenge to the humanities as a result of the development of increasingly powerful AI. Nemitz and Pfeffer do not see a technological crisis, but a philosophical crisis. The constitution of the democratic order and the constitution of knowledge are inextricably linked. The epistemological challenge of AI is therefore also a challenge for democracy.
What can we know about and through AI and Crypto? What can we hope for in the future with these technologies? What should we do about and with these technologies? And what does it mean to be a human with these technologies ever more important and ubiquitous?
The future of humanity requires that we confront these technologies, which will become as omni present as electricity, and which are dominated at this stage by large global corporations, with the questions and thinking of great philosophers, sociologist, economists and legal scholars of past and present.
Only by a discourse between the great minds of humanities and the makers and shapers of these technologies will these technologies be able to serve humanity rather than becoming a purpose in themselves. And human thinking, by philosopher and others, must confront these technologies, which are shaping our individual and collective existence more than many realize.
To make the class interactive, we have invited some of the most knowledgeable thinkers and practitioners on AI and humanities from around the world with roots in Italy to join us via the Internet for a discussion. We thus want to demonstrate the leading position Italy and Italians hold in the global discourse on future technologies. And we want to encourage our students at the University of Bergamo department of Philosophy to think big on the subject matter but also in terms of the potentials for their own future development. Because Philosophy, with the rise of these technologies, has gained a new practical relevance.