Alix Rübsaam

Faculty Fellow

Philosophy of Technology, Artificial Intelligence

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Areas of Expertise

Ethics  •  Disruption  •  Artificial Intelligence

About Alix

Alix is a researcher in philosophy of technology and the Director of Curated and Research Content at Singularity. She investigates the societal and cultural impact of exponential technologies. Her current research centres around two large scale projects. The first focus is on the effects of automated decision-making algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and algorithmic bias. She works to create understanding about how decisions made in the design process can lead to unwanted and biased outcomes, and to empower leaders to build AI that is equitable, fair, and just. The second project comprises an analysis of the digitalisation of information, its effects on decision making, and on ethics. The focus here is to reposition decision makers vis-à-vis the way they inform themselves, to investigate and challenge computational paradigms, and to envision an approach to ethics that befits 21st century dilemmas.

Being Human in the digital age | SingularityU Mexico Summit

Speaking Topics

  • AI or Die? Redefining what it means to be human in the Digital Age

    The discussion on the future of digital technologies like Artificial Intelligence is increasingly divided. While some say there simply is no future without algorithms and data-driven systems, others warn that the development of artificial super-intelligences may threaten the existence of humanity as a whole. What sense must we make from these predictions and warnings?
    As a researcher in philosophy of technology, Alix will talk about how our current understanding of computer technologies has shaped our sense of self. Software has been used as a metaphor to explain the way we think. So if computers can think like we do, what does it still mean to be human? In this talk, Alix will unpack the perceived threat of AI by placing the brain-as-computer metaphor in a long tradition of ideas we have used to explain humanity. From this, we can learn how our technologies contribute to how we think about ourselves and our future.

  • Critical Thinking, Decision Making & Ethics

    This interactive series on critical thinking, decision making, and ethics in the age of exponential technologies consists of three modules. Module 1 (Information) and 2 (Computation) can also be delivered as standalone sessions, Module 3 (Personalization) needs participants to have seen Module 1 and 2 (but not necessarily immediately before). For breakdown of specific modules, see below.
    90-180 mins + (optional) additional 60 (3 x 20) mins for interactive and active learning components

  • Module 1: Information - Making Sense of Abundant Information

    Converging exponential technologies have radically changed our relation to information. As available insights continue to increase and data-processing technologies become ever cheaper, we need a new skill set to make sense of this abundance of information. This interactive talk explores the shift of in how we build knowledge, and the skills we need to address this shift.
    20-40 mins + (optional) additional 20 mins for interactive and active learning components

  • Module 2: Computation - Living Life in the Computational Era

    As computers and information-processing technologies continue to influence ever more aspects of our life, it is difficult to think outside of the data-driven lense through which we understand the world around us. This interactive talk explores the entanglement of our culture and our digital technologies, discusses the risks and limitations of computational thinking, and offers skills to disrupt these risks.
    20-40 mins + (optional) additional 20 mins for interactive and active learning components

  • Module 3: Personalization - Personalized Decision Making

    Synthesizing learnings from Module 1 and 2, we now find ourselves in a time and space where each of us have the tools and the information available to us to be critical decision makers. This interactive talk empowers participants to utilize the tools they now have available to tackle decisions they face individually, as a leader, and as part of a company, while avoiding the pitfalls of computational reasoning.
    20-30 mins + (optional) additional 40 mins for interactive and active learning components

  • Redefining the Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

    While some predict that the rise of Artificial Intelligence will mean the “end of humankind”, others see no future without algorithms and data-driven systems. What sense can we make from these predictions and warnings? This talk unpacks the ways in which current computational systems have impacted our culture and sense of self, explore software as a metaphor for our humanity, and challenge existing ideas about what it means to be human in the digital age.
    20-40 mins

  • Technology is neutral, but doesn’t neutralize

    Our technological tools are often described as the agents that guarantee objectivity in the data they generate. But the cultural context in which our technologies are developed influences that technology. The often repeated phrase “Tech is neutral” is basically true. But the person inventing that technology, and the programmer who developed it, have a certain cultural background and ideas on how the world works. Machine learning algorithms are programmed by someone, and the programmes are trained on a good and a bad outcome. Technology is always created in a certain cultural context and it is important to be aware of that if these technologies are used for business- and government purposes.

  • Why artificial intelligence doesn’t mean that the end of human kind is near

    Several thinkers and innovators (Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Nick Bostrom a.o.) have predicted recently that the rise of Artificial Intelligence means that the end of humankind is near. They see our brain as a computer. For a long time, the computer has been used as a metaphor to explain the way we think. Alix explains why that view is too limited.

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