Sunday Apr 17, 2022

In Conversation with Elke Schwarz

Christopher Hobson speaks with Elke Schwarz, a scholar working on the political and ethical implications of digital technologies and autonomous systems. Recently, she has been returning to the insights of Günther Anders, a 20th century thinker who foreshadowed the dangers that come with untethered technological development. Applying Anders' thinking to the present moment, Schwarz reflects that, ‘with contemporary AI, the rift between our products and our moral imagination has become a steep abyss.’ These issues are explored in the conversation, considering them in reference to categories like judgment and responsibility, and reflecting on whether we should be fearful or not.

Langdon Winner once warned that, ‘in the technical realm, we repeatedly enter into a series of social contracts, the terms of which are revealed only after the signing’. The political and ethical consequences of this dynamic form the basis of this discussion with Elke Schwarz.

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This episode has been produced with support from a grant by the Toshiba International Foundation.

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