Dieses Bild zeigt Viola Schiaffonati

Viola Schiaffonati

Frau Prof. Dr.

(associate professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at Politecnico di Milano) Fellow des Italienzentrum und des SRCTS
Institut für Literaturwissenschaft
Romanische Literaturen II Italienzentrum


Keplerstr. 17
70174 Stuttgart




Computer Science and Engineering

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

Computer Ethics

Philosophical Issues of Computer Science

Experimental Methods and Techniques in Engineering

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)

Computers, robots and experiments?

The attention to shape digital technologies in accordance with human values and needs is increasing. Schiaffonati argues that to achieve this goal an epistemic and methodological dimension should be added to the ethical reflections developed in the last years. In particular she proposes the framework of explorative experimentation in computer science and engineering to set an agenda for the reflection on the ethical issues of digital technologies that seriously considers their peculiarities from an epistemic point of view. As the traditional epistemic categories of the natural sciences cannot be directly adopted by computer science and engineering, also the traditional moral principles guiding experimentation in the natural sciences should be reconsidered in the case of digital technologies, where uncertainty about their impacts and risks is very high.

Schiaffonati, V. (2020). Computer, robots ed esperimenti, Meltemi.

6. Juli 2022

18.30 h - 20.00 h

Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart
Max Bense Forum
Mailänder Platz 1
70173  Stuttgart

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