Professor Luciano Floridi is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, where he is Director of the Digital Ethics Lab of the Oxford Internet Institute, and is a professorial fellow of Exeter College. He is also Turing Fellow and Chair of the Data Ethics Group of the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.
Areas of interest
His areas of expertise include digital ethics (especially data ethics and the ethics of AI), the philosophy of information, and the philosophy of technology. He has published over 200 papers in these areas, in many anthologies and peer-reviewed journals. His work has been translated into many languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Among his recent books, all published by Oxford University Press (OUP): The Fourth Revolution - How the Infosphere Is Reshaping Human Reality (2014), winner of the J. Ong Award; The Ethics of Information (2013); The Philosophy of Information (2011); Information: A Very Short Introduction (2010). His most recent book, The Logic of Information, will be published by OUP in 2019.
What makes Oxford such a good place to work in AI?
Oxford is a world-leading research institution about the normative study and regulatory framework of digital innovation and its governance. In particular, we have the high-quality teaching, research expertise, and collegial collaboration required to tackle the multidisciplinary challenges posed by AI. This is why we can interact successfully with governmental agencies, business organisations, NGOs, and research institutions to bring about the best outcomes of AI and anticipate, avoid or minimise its shortcomings.
What is the biggest opportunity or challenge in AI?
AI is a great resource of smart agency that can be deployed to solve old problems (eg better management of electricity in the house) and achieve new solutions (eg new health treatments otherwise impossible). The biggest opportunity is to make sure that such a resource will benefit all people and all environments. From education to health, from the job market to retirement, from safety to security, from policing to defence, from socialising to entertainment, every aspect of our lives is affected by AI and every sector of our society can benefit enormously from it, if AI is developed ethically, in a way that is both socially preferable and environmentally sustainable. This is also good for growth and innovation. The challenge is represented by the misuse (sometimes involuntarily) and underuse (for fear of mistakes) of such a resource, which may undermine human dignity and human flourishing.
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