November 30 - December 2, 2023, Tsai Auditorium, Loeb House & Harvard Kennedy School
Emergent AI technologies are raising ethical and political questions that cut to the heart of what it means to be a democratic citizen in the 21st century. However, the public conversation on AI has been dominated by tech industry leaders who insist that regulating AI is mostly a matter for technical experts. Furthermore, recurrent arguments for prioritizing technological innovation and pursuing global industry dominance have foreclosed wider debate and reinforced a laissez-faire approach to AI development in the U.S. Serious cross-sectoral dialogue and public mobilization are needed if we are to change course.
We aim to animate political consciousness about AI, generate concrete proposals for action both in the U.S. and across national borders, and compel government and industry leaders to move swiftly and decisively to bring greater political accountability to this sector. This event, co-hosted by the Program on Science, Technology, and Society and co-sponsored by the Institute of Politics and the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard Kennedy School, calls for a people’s movement to bring AI development under democratic control and steer it in the service of a progressive human future.
The three-day event will bring together leading voices on AI and related policy issues and feature prominent figures from government, civil society, academia, and the private sector. MIT Professor Sherry Turkle will deliver a keynote lecture titled "Artificial Intimacy: What are People For?" on the evening of November 30. Targeted workshops on December 1 will assess promising fields of action ranging from federal oversight to labor activism, with panels focusing on Labor and Workers, Competition and Security, Regulation and Government, Transparency and Democracy, and Social Movements and NGOs. On the final day, smaller committees will produce working reports that can be widely circulated to stimulate forward movement in the effort to control AI before it controls us.
Thursday, November 30 Location: Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge St.
5:00PM Opening Keynote
Sherry Turkle (MIT) — Artificial Intimacy: What are People For? In conversation with: Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard Kennedy School) & David Kennedy (Harvard Law School)
Friday, December 1 Location: Loeb House, 17 Quincy St.
8:30AM Coffee and Breakfast
9:15AM Labor and Workers
Moderator: Mathias Risse (Harvard Kennedy School) Featured Speakers: Liz Shuler (President, AFL-CIO) Sean O’Brien (General President, Teamsters) Respondents: Louis Hyman (Cornell, School of Industrial and Labor Relations) John Lopez (Writers Guild of America)
11:00AM Virtual Speaker: Jaron Lanier (“Godfather of Virtual Reality”)
1:00PM Transparency and Democracy
Moderator: Nicole Bassoff (Harvard Kennedy School) Bill de Blasio (Former Mayor of New York City) Archon Fung (Harvard Kennedy School) Santiago Garces (Chief Information Officer, City of Boston) Zoë Hitzig (Harvard Society of Fellows) Jason Jackson (MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning)
2:15PM Regulation and Government
Moderator: Elettra Bietti (Northeastern, School of Law) Brando Benifei (Member of the European Parliament) Rama Elluru (Senior Director, Special Competitive Studies Project) Meg Leta Jones (Georgetown) Marc Rotenberg (Executive Director, Center for AI and Digital Policy)
5:30PM Ted Lieu (Congressman for California’s 36th District)
Saturday, December 2 Location: Malkin Penthouse, Harvard Kennedy School (Entrance: Wexner Building on Eliot St.)
9:45AM` Final Day Welcome
10:00AM Social Movements and NGOs
Moderator: Hilton Simmet (Harvard Kennedy School) Lisbeth Gronlund (MIT; formerly, Union of Concerned Scientists) David Hogg (President, Leaders We Deserve; March for Our Lives) Max Tegmark (President, Future of Life Institute; MIT) Jody Williams (Nobel Peace Prize for Banning Landmines)
11:15AM Conference Reflections and Discussion
11:45AM Closing Remarks
12:00PM Adjourn to Small Group Writing Sessions
Co-sponsored by Harvard University Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University Center for the Environment (A Center of the Salata Institute), John and Elizabeth McQuillan, the Harvard Institute of Politics, and the Harvard Kennedy School Carr Center for Human Rights.