Conceptual Engineering and AI

November 25, 2022
Delft Digital Ethics Center, Delft University of Technology

Molengraaffsingel 8

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Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
Delft University of Technology

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The Delft Digital Ethics Centre (DDEC) together with the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management are organising a workshop on Conceptual Engineering and AI on November 25, 2022.

The introduction of AI in many areas of our lives is the source of puzzlement and considerable moral uncertainty. How should we think about the ethical issues to which AI gives rise, which principles apply, which values are relevant, what do we owe to those affected by the negative consequences of our innovations?  In addition to these issues, there is a problem of how to conceptualise the parts of the world that we are dealing with in thinking about the issues. That this is not a trivial task is illustrated by recent research that shows that at least 20 different conceptions of ‘algorithmic fairness’ were found in the literature. Which conception do we choose, in which context, and why? A similar wealth of options confronts us when we consider, for example, “Algorithmic Bias”, “Online Democracy”, “Meaningful Human Control” and “Online Friendship”.

Therefore, it is important to ask what is the correct way to understand these concepts in the context of AI. However, this raises another relevant question: what exactly do we mean when we ask about the correct understanding of, say, “fairness”. According to conceptual engineering, the “correct” way for understanding an expression can only be determined through normative considerations. Specifically, the “correct” way to understand an expression is determined by how we ought to understand the expression. In this workshop we aim to bring together philosophers working on conceptual engineering applied to the domain of technology, with a focus on the introduction of AI. Topics to be discussed may include, but are not limited to, the following:

·       The existence of technology-induced conceptual change.

·       The relationship between research on the design of technological artefacts and the design of linguistic artefacts.

·       Philosophy of technology and fundamental questions in conceptual engineering (such as the implementation challenge, the object of conceptual engineering, how to understand functions, etc.)

·       Case studies of conceptual engineering in the ethics or conceptualization of AI.

·       Methodological issues (what are the constraints on engineering concepts for concrete applications, how do we approach conceptual engineering, etc.) that arise for applied conceptual engineering in the case of AI.

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November 25, 2022, 9:00am CET

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