Berggruen Institute Transformations of the Human (ToftH) Announces Collaborations with Partnership for AI and AI4ALL

Rachel S. Bauch

Oskar Schlemmer. 1969. Der Mensch. Page 67.

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Berggruen Institute’s Transformations of the Human (ToftH) announces two collaborations in artificial intelligence (AI)—as a new member of Partnership for AI and in the form of a major research project with AI4ALL.

The Berggruen Institutes ToftH program places philosophers and artists in key research sites to foster dialogue with technologists. The aim of the program is to render AI and biotechnology (biotech) visible as experimental sites for reformulating our vocabulary for thinking about ourselves. The program’s ambition is to feed its findings back into the production of AI and biotech and to thereby contribute to both human and non-human flourishing.

“We are thrilled to be a member of Partnership for AI and honored to have the chance to work with the AI4ALL team. Here we have two powerful opportunities to join forces and make a difference, to show that there are concrete philosophical stakes in AI, stakes that vastly exceed the predominant notion of AI as an exclusively technical field,” stated Tobias Rees, director, Berggruen Institute Transformations of the Human program.

Selected as a new member in the Partnership for AI‘s “community of practice” the Berggruen Institute Transformations of the Human program will expand the Partnership’s expertise and collaborations in pursuit of AI for the benefit of a new reality for the world: humans and machines living together.

“We are delighted by the shared mission of the Berggruen Institute and the Partnership on AI to convene multidisciplinary perspectives to advance the responsible development and deployment of artificial intelligence,” said Julia Rhodes Davis, director of partnerships, Partnership on AI. “We look forward to strengthening our global community of practice with Berggruen as a strategic partner in this mission.”

AI4ALL, a nonprofit working to increase diversity and inclusion in artificial intelligence, has welcomed anthropologist and Berggruen Institute Transformations of the Human Fellow Francis Mckay as its newest team member. Mckay will study the impact of AI on human identity, culture, and society over a three-year period. In his role at AI4ALL, Francis will delve deeper into the ethical implications of artificial intelligence to better understand communities and groups that are underrepresented in AI.

“What the Berggruen Institute wants to find out through conducting research is how this new work in AI is transforming classic anthropological concepts.” explained the new Berggruen Institute fellow and AI4ALL team member Francis Mckay. “In terms of AI4ALL, the initial interest is looking at the ethics side of AI and the idea of the underrepresented groups that AI4ALL is working to reach. Part of my research will work to put a little bit more flesh on the bones of these groups to see what specific communities might benefit from some form of targeted interventions or education programs.”

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Berggruen Institute Transformations of the Human

The Transformations of the Human program at the Berggruen Institute is designed as a philosophical study and artistic exploration of the manifold ways in which artificial intelligence and biotechnology challenge our established conceptions of what it means to be human. By placing philosophers and artists in key research sites to foster dialogue with technologists, the aim of the program is to render AI and biotech visible as unusually potent experimental sites for reformulating our vocabulary for thinking about ourselves. The program’s ambition is to feed its findings back into the production of both artificial intelligence and biotech and to thereby contribute to both human and non-human flourishing.