19. May 2023

International Conference on Sustainable AI International Conference on Sustainable AI

More than 90 experts from over 21 countries to speak at the University of Bonn in late May

What impact does artificial intelligence (AI) have on the environment? And what might the ramifications of AI be for society? These are some of the questions being tackled by the research group led by Prof. Dr. Aimee van Wynsberghe, a Humboldt Professor at the University of Bonn. She will now bring international experts in the field together between May 30 and June 1. At the Universitätsclub Bonn, the researchers will discuss cross-cultural perspectives of sustainable AI on a global level.

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This is the second international conference to be organized by Aimee van Wynsberghe’s Bonn Sustainable AI Lab at the University of Bonn’s Institute of Science and Ethics. Entitled “Sustainable AI Across Borders”, this year’s event will focus particularly on intercultural and post-colonial perspectives, with more than 90 speakers lined up from over 21 countries.

On a global level, many ethical questions arise about the sustainability of AI. For example, although some countries play a key role in the early production phase and in waste disposal, they might never reap any of the benefits of AI. At the conference, the researchers will discuss issues including environmental and social justice along the entire AI development and supply chain, AI and (post-)colonialism, the links between gender and AI, and how AI ties in with global healthcare.

“With the current rise in AI enthusiasm for tools like ChatGPT, we must confront the ethical issues associated with the impact of AI on people and planet,” Aimee van Wynsberghe explains. She says that we must ask ourselves whether the promised benefits of AI can outweigh the risks. “It is wonderful to see such interest from around the world in this topic that we are so passionate about here at the Bonn Sustainable AI Lab,” says van Wynsberghe, who is a member of the Transdisciplinary Research Areas "Institutions and Societies" and "Sustainable Futures" at the University of Bonn.

The keynote speeches will be given by Prof. Dr. Shannon Vallor from the University of Edinburgh (UK), Prof. Dr. Caesar Atuire from the University of Ghana (Ghana), Prof. Dr. Benedetta Brevini from the University of Sydney (Australia) and Prof. Dr. Ulises Mejias from SUNY Oswego (US).

There will also be a number of specific debates organized by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, UNESCO and the German Society for Gender Research.

Following on from the world’s first research conference on these issues two years ago, this year’s conference will be held in a hybrid form—both in person in Bonn and online.

More information on the conference and the provisional program can be found at https://sustainable-ai-conference.eu/

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The Bonn Sustainable AI Lab is a research group funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation that explores the impact of artificial intelligence on the environment and its ramifications for society. The lab was opened in November 2021 at a ceremony involving Rector Professor Michael Hoch, Mayor of Bonn Katja Dörner, and Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat Patricia Espinosa.

Charlotte Bander
Institute of Science and Ethics
University of Bonn
Email: charlotte.bander@uni-bonn.de
Phone: +49 228 73-8120

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