NIAS Public Lecture: Ethical Design: An Artificial Intelligence Imperative by Prof. Tilak Agerwala, Svāsthya-rasa-bodhinī CSP Public Lecture Series

Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bengaluru 560 012


NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme

Invites you to a Public Lecture in the


Svāsthya-rasa-bodhinī CSP Public Lecture Series




“Ethical Design: An Artificial Intelligence Imperative”




Dr. Tilak Agerwala

Dr. S Radhakrishnan Chair Visiting Professor, NIAS and IBM Emeritus


Date : Friday, 29th November, 2019

Time : 4.00 PM (Coffee/Tea: 3.30 PM)

Venue: Lecture Hall, NIAS, IISc Campus, Bengaluru 560012


Chairperson: Prof. Sangeetha Menon, Dean, School of Humanities, NIAS


Abstract: Systems using Artificial Intelligence (AI) are rapidly growing in capability, impact, and influence. Used by millions of people, they offer a significant opportunity to improve human well-being. At the same time, examples of AI misuse and failures abound. AI technology has been used to manipulate voters and to spread disinformation and create social unrest.  Failures include machine bias in criminal sentencing, flawed voice-recognition technology leading to the deportation of thousands of students, fatal driverless car crashes, and surgical robot incidents. These scenarios can violate privacy, threaten security, and even kill, raising ethical issues. The impact of failures can be mitigated using ethical design approaches. Recognizing this state of affairs, governments, professional societies, and institutions are establishing guidelines and regulations for the ethical design of AI systems. The presentation describes the current AI landscape, provides an overview of Ethical Design, includes practical suggestions for AI developers (“everyday ethics”), and identifies open research questions in the areas of “ethically aligned AI” and “fully ethical agents.” In conclusion:  AI designers and developers must build lawful, ethical, and robust systems, by practicing “everyday ethics”; government, academia, and industry must develop cross-disciplinary research programs in ethical design; and consumers of AI technology must raise their awareness of the potential for the misuse of AI  For more details please see:


About the Speaker: Dr. Agerwala’s career has focused on developing advanced research programs and game-changing strategic initiatives and on bringing innovative computing technologies to market. He is an IBM Emeritus, Adjunct Associate Professor, Pace University, New York, Adjunct Professor, National Institute for Advanced Studies, Bangalore, and Member, TKMA Consulting. In his IBM career, spanning 35 years, Dr. Agerwala held executive positions in research, strategy, advanced development, marketing, and business development. He was part of and led teams that developed and delivered leadership cyberinfrastructure technologies and supercomputers to industry, academia, and the national labs. As vice president, Systems, (2002 to 2013), he was responsible for IBM’s research and advanced technology activities worldwide in future systems hardware and software technologies, including the BlueGene supercomputer. As vice president of Data Centric Systems (2013-2014), his team established a new paradigm for scalable systems leading to the delivery, Summit, currently the world's most powerful supercomputer to Oakridge National Lab.


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Friday, November 29, 2019
Organised by: 
NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme
NIAS Lecture Hall