Artificial Intelligence: Hype & Reality

Dr Maurita Harney

19 August 2023

Artificial Intelligence: Hype & Reality

  • What is it about recent advances in AI that generates so much excitement as well as fear?
  • How concerned should we be?
  • Can AI develop human qualities such as empathy and sentience?
AI is constantly in the news. The speaker for the August seminar, Dr Maurita Harney Honorary Senior Fellow in Philosophy, University of Melbourne and U3APP tutor discussed the development and advances in AI from a philosophical and ethical perspective.

Dr Harney drew on her considerable research to tackle the seminar questions. While identifying some of the most recent advances in AI (including ChatGTP, and BARD) Dr Harney posed questions: What does it mean to be human? What marks us off from machines? She outlined some of the advances of AI in ecology, medicine, facial recognition, and routine endeavours. She also raised unresolved issues: what do advances in AI mean for our understanding of truth, morality, empathy, creativity?

Overall, AI is changing our society so an overarching question arising from the seminar is “What kind of society do we want to live in”? Can an AI machine turn itself on? It is not exactly clear whether we can still pull out the plug…….we think we can.

Kevin English ably facilitated the seminar.

If you missed the seminar, or would like to see it again, click on this VIDEO of the session.

Pam Caven, Saturday Seminars

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