Three Lectures on the Philosophy of AI

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The Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence | Oxford University Department for Continuing Education

A new philosophy of information has been derived from three philosophical lessons suggested by Turing’s work. The first tells us how important it is, when asking questions, to specify the correct level of abstraction. The second discusses the philosophical questions that are the most pressing, and the third a new philosophical anthropology. This last topic will be taken up in a discussion of the fact that recent technological transformations in the life-cycle of information have brought about a humbling, but exciting, fourth revolution, in the process of reassessing humanity’s fundamental nature and role in the universe. This will enable us to develop a new ecological approach to reality. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become environmental forces, creating and shaping our reality, more and more pervasively, by ‘enveloping’ the world. The technical concept of ‘enveloping’ will be explained, along with the promise it holds out for our futures. But we will not ignore the risks implicit in transforming the world into a progressively ICT-friendly environment, asking whether our technologies are going to enable and empower us, or constrain our physical and conceptual spaces so we are forced to adjust to them?


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