NIAS Public Lecture: "Ethical Dilemmas in Disruptive Technologies: Data Analytics, AI, and Genetic Engineering" by Tilak Agerwala, Lecture Hall, NIAS, 1600hrs

National Institute of Advanced Studies

Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bengaluru 560 012


NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme


Invites you to a







  Ethical Dilemmas in Disruptive Technologies:

Data Analytics, AI, and Genetic Engineering




Tilak Agerwala

IBM Emeritus


Chairperson: Nithin Nagaraj, Consciousness Studies Programme, NIAS


Date:               Monday, 17th December 2018

Time:               4:00 PM (Coffee/Tea : 3.30 PM)

Venue:             Lecture Hall, NIAS


Abstract:   The goal of this presentation is to raise awareness on the rapidity of technology progress and the ethical issues that decision makers at all levels will face. The rapid digital transformation of our world, the exponential improvements in computing, communication, and storage, and the blurring of the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres, have created a plethora of disruptive technologies.  These technologies, which are evolving at a breakthrough pace, will completely change the way things are done. They have a significant potential to improve human wellbeing but raise difficult ethical dilemmas. After a brief introduction to ethics, we present three disruptive technologies: data analytics, lethal autonomous weapons systems, and human genome editing together with the ethical dilemmas they raise. We argue that technology progress should not be stopped, and the best path forward is to continue unbiased research on the technologies and their impact, share results, and invest in developing skills in critical thinking and ethical analysis.


About the Speaker: Tilak Agerwala is an IBM Emeritus, Adjunct Associate Professor, PACE University, New York, Adjunct Professor, National Institute for Advanced Studies, Bangalore, and Member, TKMA Consulting. With the rapid “digitalization” of our world and the transformative impact this is having, Tilak is interested in applying data driven approaches and advanced computing technologies to world class science and engineering and workforce of the future, including education and leadership development. In his IBM career, spanning 35 years, Tilak held executive positions in research, strategy, advanced development, marketing, and business development. Tilak was part of and led teams that developed and brought to market, technologies and systems for high performance computing and was responsible for IBM Research activities worldwide on next-gen system hardware and software technologies. He has given well over a hundred invited presentations, keynotes, and distinguished lectures at conferences, universities and national laboratories worldwide, on advanced systems architectures and technologies. Tilak is a Fellow of the IEEE and a recipient of the W. Wallace McDowell Award from the IEEE Computer Society. He has a Bachelor of Technology degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University. From 1975 to 1978, Tilak was an assistant professor of Electrical Engineering at The University of Texas, Austin.


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All are welcome

Monday, December 17, 2018