College of Science

The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence: The End of Humanity as We Know It?

Annual Ethics and Responsible Business Forum set for March 16

Physicist Stephen Hawking recently made headlines when he said, “The development of full artificial intelligence (AI) could spell the end of the human race.” Bill Gates, Elon Musk and other business and technology leaders have come out against AI and its likely impact on inequality, unemployment and the human condition.

On the other hand, some people are trumpeting a new age of “superintelligence” in which AI-embedded smart devices and machines will exponentially extend human capabilities and lead to breakthroughs in science, education, economics and health.

Progression of man from ape to Android

These issues will take center stage when the ethics of artificial intelligence is the topic of CSU Monterey Bay’s 14th annual Ethics and Responsible Business Forum, to be held from 3 to 5 p.m., March 16, at the University Center on Sixth Avenue and B Street.

The forum’s goal is to enhance our understanding of the ethical issues and dilemmas that people, as employees, employers, entrepreneurs and citizens face as AI and smart machines become ubiquitous.

The forum will have a debate format with speakers representing both sides of this complex issue. Dr. Jerry Kaplan of the Center for Legal Informatics at Stanford will take the position that AI poses no threat given that it makes no sense to talk about machines as being “intelligent.” Dr. Stuart Russell of UC Berkeley’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science will take the opposite view.

They will field questions from panelists including:

  • Bud Colligan, former CEO of Macromedia, partner at Accel Partners and current co-chair of the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership
  • Karen Hargrove, former general manager at Microsoft and a venture “angel”
  • Dr. Ira Pohl of UC Santa Cruz
  • Dr. Ray Buettner of the Naval Postgraduate School
  • Dr. John Berteaux, professor of philosophy at CSUMB

In conjunction with the forum, a Cool Tech expo will be held from 1 to 3 and 5 to 7 p.m.

The event is free, but a parking permit must be purchased from a machine on the lot.

The expo and forum are sponsored by CSUMB’s College of Business and School of Computing and Design with support from Associated Students.

Published March 1, 2016