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Panel discusses religious and social implications of AI

Photo by Christine Baker
Jun 20 2018
Gabriela Romero

The 11th annual Howard M. Garfield Forum featured a panel entitled “Apocalyptic AI: Religion, Artificial Intelligence, and the End of the World (as We Know It)” addressing the social and religious implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Tuesday event, co-sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, Office for Religious Life and the Stanford Humanities Center, sought to define AI’s relationship with humanity.

Kathryn Gin Lum, assistant professor of religious studies, moderated the discussion. The panel featured Robert Geraci, a Manhattan College religious studies professor, Sylvester Johnson, professor and director of Virginia Tech’s Center for the Humanities and Jerry Kaplan, a futurist, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and adjunct professor at the Freeman Spogli Institute. All three panelists have been heavily involved in discussing and teaching issues related to AI.

The panelists began by discussing the definition of AI, revealing that even experts lack a shared understanding of the concept.