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Debates over artificial intelligence (AI) tend to focus on what the technology can do – what jobs it will perform better than humans, and what industries it will transform. Iyad Rahwan, MIT Media Lab professor, renowned AI developer and highly-regarded computer scientist, focuses his research on the kinds of tasks at which AI will excel or need to leave to human wisdom. A leading expert on the impact of AI on business, media and society, Rahwan takes the debate further than the technical specifics: If AI is going to be doing so much in our economy and society, from driving us to informing us of the news, then we need to think more profoundly about the ethical underpinnings of new technology.

In his engaging, eye-opening keynote presentations, Rahwan offers organizations a deeper perspective on how AI will impact our world, and how we should influence its development. 

Rahwan’s recent research has explored the development of self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles. Questions that remain at large are how we program autonomous vehicles to tell right from wrong, and how we decide on moral imperatives. As human drivers, we can decide to sacrifice our own safety to save others. Cars can’t – yet.



As both a practitioner and ethical theorist, Rahwan offers this unique perspective to the broader technological debate. The conundrum of self-driving cars is only the surface of a much deeper conversation about developing AI. As the technology plays an increasingly important role in our lives, we should be aware that it could potentially incorporate biases like racism and sexism, or even psychopathy (as Rahwan’s psychopathic AI experiment, “Norman,” so pointedly revealed).

Rahwan is also an authority on the impact of AI on the future of work. His framework for mapping which skills are most likely to be automated and which ones will remain as primarily the preserve of humans is of great importance for companies building recruitment and training strategies, educators tasked with preparing the next generation for the workforce and policymakers grappling with enormous shifts in employment.

To develop a better understanding of the immense technological changes taking place in the world, contact us to learn how Iyad Rahwan can help your organization chart a new path. He is available for speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Making Sense of the Ethics and Impact of AI was last modified: August 5th, 2022 by Danny Stern