Seminar: A shallow defence of a technocracy of artificial intelligence

  • This event has been moved to fully virtual and will no longer take place in person. You may join with the corresponding Webex link.
  • Date: Jun 28, 2022
  • Time: 03:00 PM
  • Speaker: Henrik Skaug Sætra, Østfold University College
  • Location: online
  • Host: Center for Humans and Machines
Seminar: A shallow defence of a technocracy of artificial intelligence

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Henrik Skaug Sætra, Østfold University College

A shallow defence of a technocracy of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly seen as superior to human decision-making in specific areas, either in terms of efficiency or outcomes. This is particularly the case whenever there is a need for advanced strategic reasoning and analysis of vast amounts of data in order to solve complex problems. Few human activities fit this description better than politics, and in this seminar, Sætra focusses on the use of AI in the political domain. More specifically, he hones in on the potential shift towards extensive use of AI and politics and what he labels a technocracy of artificial intelligence. By exploring five popular arguments against such a technocracy, he argues that neither of them is successful in derailing the argument for technocracy. If, that is, certain conditions related to control and setting society’s direction are met. So, where does that leave us? Sætra argues that if democracy and human involvement in politics really is important for us, we might need to develop new, and stronger, defences in their favour.


Henrik Skaug Sætra is a political scientist working in the Faculty of Computer Science, Engineering and Economics at Østfold University College. Sætra has a particular interest in political theory and philosophy, and has worked extensively on Thomas Hobbes and social contract theory, environmental ethics and game theory. He currently focuses on the dynamics between human individuals, society and technology. His most recent books are Big Data's Threat to Liberty (Elsevier 2021) and AI for the Sustainable Development Goals (CRC Press 2022).


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