News and Events: Upcoming Events

9 November 2022, ILLC Diversity Talks, Prof. Moshe Vardi

Speaker: Prof. Moshe Vardi
Title: Artificial Intelligence: Ethics Versus Public Policy
Date: Wednesday 9 November 2022
Time: 16:30-18:00
Location: Room D1.111, Science Park 904, Amsterdam / Online via Zoom

We are pleased to announce that the ILLC Diversity Talk Series will feature a talk from Moshe Vardi. On Wednesday 9 November 16:30 – 18:00, Moshe Vardi will give a talk on Artificial Intelligence: Ethics Versus Public Policy (see below for the full abstract).

Moshe Vardi is a university professor and the Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering at Rice University, where he leads an initiative on technology, culture, and society. He was also a member of the ILLC Scientific Advisory Board for many years.

Due to family reasons, Moshe will give the talk remotely, but we encourage everyone to attend on-location at Science Park 904 Room D1.111, where the talk will be streamed!

Alternatively, you are welcome to join us on Zoom. If you have not received the invitation email with the zoom link, you can register at the following link:

The talk will not presuppose any particular technical knowledge, and we hope that this event will bring together everyone interested in this topic.

The talk will be followed by a reception in the ILLC Common Area at LAB42 (SP 900, LAB42, 6th floor).

We look forward to the event!

The ILLC Diversity Committee

Speaker: Moshe Vardi
Title: Artificial Intelligence: Ethics Versus Public Policy
Date: 9 November 2022
Time: 16:30 - 18:00
Location: Room D1.111 SP904
Zoom / Meeting ID:


Over the past decade Artificial Intelligence, in general, and Machine Learning, in particular, have made impressive advancements, in image recognition, game playing, natural-language understanding and more. But there were also several instances where we saw the harm that these technologies can cause when they are deployed too hastily.

A Tesla crashed on Autopilot, killing the driver; a self driving Uber crashed, killing a pedestrian; and commercial face-recognition systems performed terribly in audits on dark-skinned people.

In response to that, there has been much recent talk of AI ethics.

Many organizations produced AI-ethics guidelines and companies publicize their newly established responsible-AI teams.

But talk is cheap. "Ethics washing" — also called “ethics theater” — is the practice of fabricating or exaggerating a company’s interest in equitable AI systems that work for everyone. An example is when a company promotes “AI for good” initiatives with one hand, while selling surveillance tech to governments and corporate customers with the other.

I will argue that the ethical lense is too narrow. The real issue is how to deal with technology's impact on society. Technology is driving the future, but who is doing the steering?