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07.07.2022 Workshop

From epistemic opacity to ethical opacity?
A workshop on non-transparent models and ethical uncertainty in science, technology, and engineering

Co-organizers: Viola Schiaffonati, Andreas Kaminski     
Location: High-Performance Computing Center (HLRS), University of Stuttgart, room: “Kino” Date: July 7, 2022

Computer models such as those used in advanced simulations and machine learning are often epistemically opaque. Individuals encounter a limit to explaining, understanding, or even justifying their results. Nevertheless, scientific, economic, and political decisions are to be made on their basis. Values necessarily enter into models. What are the consequences of epistemic opacity for questions of justification? How is the ethical evaluation of models and their results affected by it? Does epistemic lead to ethical opacity?

This workshop will explore novel theoretical frameworks to tackle the inherent uncertainty in different fields of science and engineering. The idea is to discuss how different disciplinary approaches can interact to deal with these issues. The focus will be mainly on issues related to epistemic opacity and ethical uncertainty and their relation to decision-making.

The workshop will include invited speakers, a discussion on relevant literature with (post-)graduate students from different research areas, and a final roundtable summarizing some results and possible future pathways.

Speakers: Viola Schiaffonati (Politecnico di Milano), Philip J. Nickel (TU Eindhoven), Markus Pantsar (Helsinki/Aachen), Andreas Kaminski (Aachen/HLRS).

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