ABSOLUTELY INTERDISCIPLINARY

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Published on May 23, 2021

An academic conference hosted by the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society at the University of Toronto.

about absolutely interdisciplinary

Understanding the capacities and limitations of complex new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) calls for more than just a technical perspective. Absolutely Interdisciplinary convenes researchers from across disciplines to build new, interdisciplinary approaches to advance our understanding of how to meet the challenge of ensuring AI and other powerful technologies promote human well-being. This year, Absolutely Interdisciplinary takes place virtually, with a one-day graduate workshop on June 16th, followed by four scheduled sessions across two days on June 17th and 18th.

about this year’s theme: human and machine normativity

Humans are a fundamentally normative species, with complex cognitive and social systems for shaping behaviour to implement collectively-determined values and norms in support of cooperation. Building AI systems that are robustly aligned with human values requires deep understandings of how these normative systems work. At the same time, advances in AI present unique opportunities to investigate and test what capacities contribute to our ability to build, maintain, and abide by norms. This year, Absolutely Interdisciplinary takes up the challenge of exploring these dynamics under the theme Human and Machine Normativity: New Connections. Learn more.

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absolutely interdisciplinary 2021: guest speakers

Jeff Clune
Jeff Clune
Vincent Conitzer
Vincent Conitzer
Deborah Gordon
Deborah Gordon
Moritz Hardt
Moritz Hardt
Joel Z. Leibo
Joel Z. Leibo
Sarah Mathew
Sarah Mathew
Deirdre Mulligan
Deirdre Mulligan
Johanna Thoma
Johanna Thoma

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About the Schwartz Reisman Institute FOR TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY

Created in 2019 through a historic gift from Canadian entrepreneurs Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman, the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society explores the ethical and societal implications of technology.

Our mission is to deepen our knowledge of technologies, societies, and humanity by integrating research across traditional boundaries and building human-centred solutions. We want to make sure powerful technologies make the world a better place—for everyone.

The integrative research we conduct rethinks technology’s role in society, the contemporary needs of human communities, and the systems that govern them. We’re investigating how best to align technology with human values and deploy it accordingly. Learn more about our Research Stream.

The solutions we build aim to meet the tremendous demand within industry, government, and civil society for innovative, actionable, high value, and globally appealing solutions to the challenge of building safe, responsible, and inclusive AI and other advanced technologies. We highlight the potential of emerging technologies to serve the public good while protecting citizens and societies from their misuse. Learn more about our Solutions Stream.

Across all our activities, we convene world-class expertise and draw on diverse perspectives from universities, government, industry, and community organizations to develop new modes of thinking about powerful technologies and their role in what it means to be human in the 21st century.

We’re defining what’s possible, determining what’s at stake, and devising implementable solutions to make sure technologies like AI are effective, safe, fair, and beneficial—for everyone.