The Hamilton Science and Faith Forum and the CSCA present a public lecture by Derek C. Schuurman (Ph.D. Electrical Engineering).
“Responsible Automation: Faith and Work in an Age of Intelligent Machines”
Location: Hurlburt Hall (Room 136), McMaster Divinity College
Abstract: Ever since the Luddites revolted in opposition to the industrial revolution in the early 19th century, concerns over automation have persisted. Throughout the Industrial Revolution, the introduction of new technology did displace certain jobs, but it simultaneously created new jobs. And so it went for much of the 20th century. However, the digital revolution and the increasing pace of automation are now rapidly transforming the economy and employment. With recent developments in robotics and artificial intelligence, many have begun to warn of the “end of work” in what has been called “the second machine age.” If pursuing absolute efficiency through automation leads to undesirable consequences, what normative guidelines can help us responsibly harness the possibilities of new technologies while simultaneously ensuring flourishing for humans and the rest of the creation? A set of norms informed by a Christian perspective for responsible technology will be presented to provide a helpful framework as we face the second machine age.
Derek C. Schuurman worked as an electrical engineer for several years and later returned to school to complete a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at McMaster University in the area of robotics and computer vision. He has taught computer science at both Dordt College and Redeemer University College. He is a fellow in technology at St. George’s Centre for Biblical and Public Theology and a research associate with the Andreas Center. He is also a book review editor for the journal Perspectives in Science and Christian Faith published by the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA). He has written about faith and technology issues and is the author of the book Shaping a Digital World: Faith, Culture and Computer Technology published by InterVaristy Press.