CFP: Ethics and AI: The Uses We Make of Emerging Technologies and Machine Learning

Submission deadline: April 15, 2024

Conference date(s):
September 19, 2024 - September 20, 2024

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Department of Communication Studies & Philosophy, Utah State University
Logan, United States

Topic areas


Artificial Intelligence has captured recent headlines with the rise of large language models (LLMs).  They represent a leap forward in the development of human inventions that may rank amongst the most important in the history of our species.  The questions that the continued improvement of AI pose to humanity are thus urgent and unavoidable.  However, the deeper principles and methods that are necessary for dealing with these new questions come from the foundational work that takes place within philosophy and the humanities more broadly. 

Rationale for the Conference 

Technological innovation and change have been a perennial component of human life since its inception. In many ways, technology is one of the defining features of any society in history. Innovations like the printing press, penicillin, and the internal combustion engine forever altered the communities where they emerged. It is possible to say that these technological innovations destroyed one world and created a new one in its place. 

We are living through an age of radical change and evolution via the emergence of artificial intelligence and machine learning systems. These technologies are very new, and in many ways the implications and consequences of these new systems are nebulous and unclear. Of course, we as human beings have some say in how AI comes into our world. How should machine learning systems be used in our society? Are there responsible and irresponsible uses of this technology? How should make these sorts of decisions? What implications do these systems have for our very understanding of the universe? What kind of knowledge can we use the machine to pursue? Are there limits to what we can learn from or with these devices? 

This conference aims to bring together top scholars from philosophy, the humanities, and the sciences for an interdisciplinary discussion that focuses on the epistemological and ethical dimensions of AI. Speakers will cover foundational questions related to uses of machine learning and immerging technologies as well as how these more basic questions relate to specific fields, topics, or policy debates. The philosophy department, in conjunction with a number of other departments, to provide two days of invited speakers and immerging scholars from philosophy, data science, and the broader humanities. 

Keynote Address:  John Symons, University of Kansas 
Director of the Center for Cyber Social Dynamics 

Plenary Speaker: Matthew Liao, New York University 
Director for the Center of Bioethics at NYU 

Plenary Speaker: Kathleen Creel, Northeastern University 

Plenary Speaker: Ramón Alvarado, University of Oregon 

Plenary Speaker: Maya Indira Ganesh, University of Cambridge

Call for Abstracts: 

We invite abstracts of no more than 500 words, prepared for blind review and appropriate forpresentation in 20 minutes (followed by 10 minutes of Q&A). As we have extended our submission deadline to April 15th, we will aim to notify submitting authors of our decision regarding their abstract by no later than April 30th. Please submit no more than one submission per corresponding/presenting author. Special consideration will be given to those focusing on one of the following four major areas of discussion: 

  1. Ethical considerations around Technology, including (but not limited to)AI and self-driving cars, military applications, agricultural applications, and/or research technologies, etc. Anonymized abstracts should be sent to Rachel Robison ([email protected]) by the extended deadline of April 15, 2024, with the subject line “Ethical considerations around Technology Submission: YOUR LASTNAME.” 
  2. Ethical considerations around Epistemic issues, including (but not limited to) AI and issues of opacity, trust, and/or justification of reasoning, etc. Anonymized abstracts should be sent to Brittany Gentry ([email protected]) by the extended deadline of April 15, 2024, with the subject line “Ethical considerations around Epistemic Issues Submission: YOUR LASTNAME.” 

  3. Ethical considerations around Decision Making, including (but not limited to) AI making decisions on hiring, loan approvals, healthcare, culpability, sentencing and/or legal judgements, etc. Anonymized abstracts should be sent to Mike Ashfield ([email protected]) by the extended deadline of April 15, 2024, with the subject line “Ethical considerations around Decision Making Submission: YOUR LASTNAME.” 

  4. Ethical considerations around Modeling, including (but not limited to) AI and issues related to algorithm biasing, filtering, large language models, value parameters and assumptions, etc. Anonymized abstracts should be sent to Michael Otteson ([email protected]) by the extended deadline of April 15, 2024, with the subject line “Ethical considerations around Modeling Submission: YOUR LASTNAME.” 

For more information about conference registration, venue accessibility, etc. see website (coming soon). For general inquiries, please contact Dr. Brittany Gentry ([email protected]) or Dr. Michael Otteson ([email protected]).

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