Despite the promise to make the planet more sustainable, AI also carries critical environmental costs. The concept of “digital pollution” refers to the fact that digital technologies have a high carbon footprint that contributes to the climate crisis. With its need of high computational power and intense algorithm training sessions, AI has an important role in the production of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere that cannot be neglected in the context of increasing development and use of these systems. While a growing number of scholars in media studies, sociology and anthropology explore issues of value, justice and power in relation to digital pollution, so far these issues have not been consistently addressed in research on ethics of AI and digital technologies. However, decisions on why and how to make AI sustainable have deep normative dimensions that are in urgent need for an ethical reflection. At this seminar, I will present my ideas for a project that aims at developing the epistemic, normative and governance grounds for an environmental ethics of AI.
This internal talk is for Oxford Uehiro Centre members and associates.
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