Prof. Soraj Hongladarom on Buddhism, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

“… we can think about what can be the supreme end, the final end or ethical perfection for AI ethics … we want to be able to get clear guidelines for AI ethics and with the final end in sight” 

Prof. Soraj Hongladarom

In this issue of A Correction podcast I speak with Prof Soraj Hongladarom who explains why a clear vision or guidelines for AI ethics should be conceptualised with a final end in sight – ending the suffering of interdependent and connected sentient beings (or reaching nirvana), even if it takes a long time or is not achieved. He talks about how Buddhist philosophy related to justice, accountability and compassion can support ethical development of AI that supports common moral human values around the world. He explains how this can be cultivated by those developing AI and maps not only differences but similarities between Buddhist and Greek philosophy in this regard.

Soraj considers the concept of the ‘self’ vs the ‘non-self’ in developing AI, the importance of privacy and interrogates the concept of intellectual property rights. He also talks about his contribution to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems which considers how different philosophical traditions such as Buddhism, Confucianism, African Ubuntu traditions, and Japanese Shinto can support ethical digital technology and what is meant by ‘machine enlightenment’.

Listen on the A Correction Podcast website, Spotify, Apple Podcast or all the usual podcast channels.

Prof. Soraj Hongladarom

Professor Soraj Hongladarom is professor of philosophy and Director of the Center for Ethics of Science and Technology at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. He has published books and articles on diverse issues such as bioethics, computer ethics, and the roles that science and technology play in the culture of Eastern countries. His concern is mainly on how science and technology can be integrated into the life-world of people in the so-called ‘Third World’ countries, and what kind of ethical considerations can be obtained from such relations. A large part of this question concerns how information technology is integrated in the lifeworld of the Thai people, and especially how such integration is expressed in the use of information technology in education. He is the editor, together with Charles Ess, of Information Technology Ethics: Cultural Perspectives, published by IGI Global. His works have also appeared in Bioethics, The Information Society, AI & Society, Philosophy in the Contemporary World, and Social Epistemology, among others.

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