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Philosophy of AI Presentation Series

research areas

AI ethics
Artificial intelligence
Digital Ethics


2024 - 2024

Hybrid presentation series with the aim of popularizing the most recent topics of discussion in the philosophy of AI, to the use and interests of experts across all disciplines that has something to say about digital innovation.

The theme of this series of presentations is to present various debates in the philosophy of AI. The talks will be offered by experts coming from several disciplines around AI and digital innovation, and the aim of the series is generally to foster cross-pollination and interaction between different fields. This includes (not exhaustively) philosophy, engineering, information systems, informatics, law, political sciences, sociology.

The conference is funded by the DSI Ethics Community and hosted in the Digital Library Space.

1. Session

March 19, 3 – 4:30 pm, incl. Apéro

Digital Library Space, Rämistr. 69, Zürich

Speaker: Jana Sedlakova


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Ethics of Conversational Agents in Healthcare: The dilemma of humanization

Conversational agents are increasingly used in healthcare. The common purposes and applications include health education, intervention support, disease management and patient data collection. In my talk, I will focus on the common trend of developing conversational agents with human-like features to simulate human conversation and characteristics. I call this process humanization and will address its ethical and epistemological challenges with a particular focus on mental healthcare. In common applications of conversational agents, it is important to ensure that patients feel comfortable and safe to interact with a conversational agent, benefit from such interaction and feel comfortable to disclose truthful information about themselves. However, the humanization of conversational agents might lead to feelings of deception, forming wrong expectations and a bad interaction can cause negative feelings.

There are many open questions related to the humanization. I will address some of them:

To what extent should conversational agents be understood in human-like terms?

What are the associated risks with such humanization?

What are the common conceptual tools that might help to navigate understanding of and interaction with conversational agents?

I will also present preliminary results from an empirical study in which I designed sic different chatbot personas with different humanization levels. The aim was to explore whether different design choices impact user experience, their willingness to disclose and the quality of disclosed data.

2. Session

April 9, 3 – 4:30 pm, incl. Apéro

Digital Library Space, Rämistr. 69, Zürich

Speakers: Mateusz Dolata & Dzmitry Katsiuba (IFI),

Called for Higher Standards: Drones for Public Safety.

3. Session

May 28,  5:00 – 7:30 pm, incl. Apéro

Digital Library Space, Rämistr. 69, Zürich

Speaker: Alberto Termine (IPSIA, Lugano)