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Humanists UK to articulate humanist views on AI and other contemporary issues and challenges

On 14th December 2022, Humanists UK published an article by Liam Whitton (image left), their Director of Communications and Development, on the ethical challenges posed by artificial intelligence (AI). Liam wrote that '...the recent period of exponential advancement in AI technology throws up a great number of ethical challenges and questions which will fall to policymakers and citizens to get to grips with'. He added that 'Humanists need to take an active role in helping publicly articulate the values and principles that will shape that process of stewardship, both in the UK and internationally. These are, after all, technologies that will touch the lives of every human being on Earth for generations to come. As time goes on, AI will almost certainly open up new ethical dilemmas, and humanist thought will need to encompass these new realms and open up new discussions about sentience, intelligence, and rights.' In the coming year, Humanists UK will be publishing more articles and stories of this nature which will aim to articulate humanist views on contemporary issues and challenges.

Assistant Editor David Warden said that the Future of Humanism Group, of which he is a member, was formed in 2022 to put pressure on humanist organisations to play a greater role in shaping humanist responses to contemporary threats and challenges such as AI. This timely article by Liam Whitton, and the promise of more to come in 2023, has been welcomed as 'good news' in group communications.

Liam's full article is here:

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Jan 27, 2023

When Liam Dutton cites 'the sudden closure of mines in England in the 1980s' it is evident he does not understand what happened at that time. The mine closures were as a result of a deliberate government strategy to weaken the trade union movement and to destroy the British coal mining industry. It was not an accidental side-effect of technology but a deliberate government strategy. Also, as a retired FE College Lecturer, I think his remark that "Many teachers and lecturers, for example, will be designing new assignments that are ‘AI-proof’" indicates that he is failing to give educationalists the credit they deserve. We interact with students in the lecture rooms and halls on a regular basis and can fo…


Mike Flood
Mike Flood
Jan 03, 2023

Good to see Liam's article on AI. Looking forward to Humanists UK articulating its views on other contemporary issues/challenges. I would be particularly interested to know if the Board / Executive has any plans to revisit the campaign priorities outlined in the 5 year Plan (published in March) which makes no mention of AI — or the threat posed by misinformation and climate change. See my letter to the Editor. Mike

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