TU Wien Informatics

20 Years

Luke Munn, Erich Prem: The Uselessness of AI Ethics

  • 2022-12-06
  • Public Lecture
  • Event
  • AI

Luke Munn (University of Queensland) and Erich Prem (Universität Wien & eutema) discuss the potential and challenges of ethical AI systems.

Luke Munn, Erich Prem: The Uselessness of AI Ethics

  • This is an online-only event.
    See description for details.


In this discussion, Luke Munn and Erich Prem consider the apparent uselessness of AI ethics. As the awareness of AI’s power and danger has risen, the dominant response has been a turn to ethical principles. A flood of AI guidelines have been released in both the public and private sector in the last several years. Systematic reviews of these frameworks reveal that most of them are instances of principlism. Unfortunately, such principles are often meaningless and vague, they lack “teeth” or enforcement, and they are situated in an industry that often ignores ethics. The question then is how to leverage ethical principles, to move from what to how. There have been numerous proposals for tools, techniques, and algorithms to create ethical AI systems. Will this be the solution or will we need completely new pathways to building and operating AI systems that align with societal values?

Online Event

  • Participate via Zoom (password: 0dzqxqiy).
  • The talk will also be live streamed and recorded on our YouTube Channel.
  • For further announcements and information, please visit the DIGHUM Website, which also provides slides and recordings of all our past events.

About Luke Munn

Luke Munn is a Research Fellow in Digital Cultures & Societies at the University of Queensland. His wide-ranging work investigates the sociocultural impacts of digital cultures, from data infrastructures in Asia to platform labor and far-right radicalisation, and has been featured in highly regarded journals such as Cultural Politics, Big Data & Society, and New Media & Society as well as popular forums like the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times,and the Washington Post. He has written five books: Unmaking the Algorithm (2018), Logic of Feeling (2020), Automation is a Myth (2022), Countering the Cloud (2022 forthcoming), and Technical Territories (2023 forthcoming). His work combines diverse digital methods with critical analysis that draws on media, race, and cultural studies.

About Erich Prem

DDr. Erich Prem is chief RTI strategy advisor and CEO of eutema GmbH. He is an internationally renowned expert in research and innovation strategy with more than two decades of work experience in research and innovation management and RTDI policy. Erich Prem is a certified managerial economist and works scientifically in artificial intelligence, research politics, innovation research and epistemology. He published more than 70 scientific papers and was a guest researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his Dr. phil. (epistemology) from the University of Vienna, his Dr.tech. from TU Vienna where he also completed his master’s in computer science (Dipl.Ing). He was a lecturer at TU Vienna’s Informatics Innovation Center. He received his MBA in General Management from Donau University.

The DIGHUM Lecture Series

Digital Humanism deals with the complex relationship between man and machine. It acknowledges the potential of Informatics and IT. At the same time, it points to related apparent threats such as privacy violations, ethical concerns with AI, automation, and loss of jobs, and the ongoing monopolization on the Web. The Corona crisis has shown these two faces of the accelerated digitalization—we are in a crucial moment in time.

For this reason, we started the DIGHUM Lecture Series, an initiative with regular online events to discuss the different aspects of Digital Humanism. We will have a speaker on a specific topic (30 minutes) followed by a discussion of 30 minutes every second Tuesday of each month at 5:00 PM CEST. This crisis seriously affects our mobility, but it also offers the possibility to participate in events from all over the world—let’s take this chance to meet virtually.

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