- March 28, 2019
- March 29, 2019
The Aspen Institute Germany’s second annual Berlin AI conference – Humanity Defined: Politics and Ethics in the AI Age – brought together more than 350 top policy-makers, philosophers, computer scientists, academics and representatives from business as well as media at the State Representation of Baden-Württemberg in Berlin on March 28-29, 2019. We explored this year’s theme across five keynote speeches, four panel discussions, and three seminar-style breakout sessions. Aspen also introduced an Oxford-style debate to the program, bringing together teams arguing “for” or “against” the motion: “Artificial Intelligence will be a Net Positive for Humanity.” Parallel to the program the conference featured various stands and demos, including matches between the Robot-Soccer teams from Leipzig und Berlin. Throughout the two days, discussion topics included the global AI race, healthcare in the digital age, AI’s potential benefit to everyday life, humanizing AI through design principles, and Germany’s AI strategy. The audience engaged with experts over the challenges as well as the opportunities that AI offers, including questions on how to build AI to reflect civic values, ensure objectivity in innovation, and develop a model for ethical AI and ethics in warfare. Speakers included Katarina Barley, German Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection; Cathy O’Neil, Mathematician and Author of Weapons of Math Destruction; Kenneth Stanley, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida; Thomas Metzinger, Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz; and Hans Peter Brondmo from Moonshot at X. The conference was generously supported by its co-organizers the Heinz and Heide Dürr Stiftung and the State Representation of Baden-Württemberg. Additionally, we thank our supporters and partners – the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Microsoft, Pfizer, the Aspen Initiative for Europe, KI-Bundesverband e.V. and our media partners KCRW Berlin, Berlin Policy Journal, Internationale Politik and Deutschlandfunk Nova.