Cognitive Enhancement: An Ethical Assessment of Artificial Intelligence – MPh Symposium

Divyadaan: Salesian Institute of Philosophy convened its second annual symposium on Saturday, 19th January 2019. The theme for this symposium was ‘Cognitive Enhancement: An Ethical Assessment of Artificial Intelligence.’ The symposium was organized by the first year students of the Master’s Degree in Philosophy. A total of 78 participants partook in the symposium. The chief guest was Fr. Leon Cruz Ratinam sdb. He invited the seminar participants in his keynote address to reflect on the present impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on day-to-day life. He also highlighted the relevance of the topic and elucidated the church’s standpoint.

This symposium attempted to present the various standpoints regarding AI so as to facilitate a comprehensive understanding and provide a critical analysis. There were seven papers presented focusing on the following questions: What is AI? What is the purpose of AI? Can it be utilized to make human life better? Is it possible to create a machine like human beings? If it is created, will they replace us on this earth?

The symposium invited all participants to think seriously about the impact of AI. The group discussion highlighted the point that it is imperative that philosophizing not remain confined only to the ideal, but should be related to the real and existential situations of life.