Epistemic Security: Understanding the greatest threats to timely crisis response in a technologically advanced world

Share

IEEE Ottawa Section is pleased to host a lunch and learn webinar on epistemic security by Elizabeth Seger who is a researcher at the University of Cambridge and the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, UK. Registration is required for this free webinar.

If home security is about making sure our possessions are safe, financial security is about keeping our money safe, national security is about keeping our country safe, then epistemic security is about keeping our knowledge safe. 



  Date and Time

  Location

  Hosts

  Registration



The link for webinar will be sent one day ahead to the registrants.  

  • Ottawa
  • Canada

Staticmap?size=250x200&sensor=false&zoom=14&markers=45.421106%2c 75
  • Starts 03 March 2021 12:00 AM
  • Ends 15 April 2021 09:00 AM
  • All times are America/Toronto
  • No Admission Charge


  Speakers

Elizabeth Seger
Elizabeth Seger of University of Cambridge

Topic:

Epistemic Security: Understanding the greatest threats to timely crisis response in a technologically advanced world

Think about the information you receive about the world, for example about COVID-19, about climate change, or about something a politician said. What most people think they know they likely did not observe firsthand. Rather, the information has been passed on by someone (or something) else: a teacher, parent, or friend, by a chatbot, in a tweet, on the news, or in some online fora. Do we really know what we believe to be true? How?

Reliable information is crucial to timely decision-making and the coordination of collective action in response to a crisis. In theory, if a group of people is given the same information (e.g. that wearing masks cuts the transmission of COVID-19) and all hold a common goal (e.g. bringing an end to the pandemic), then all individuals should reason to a common course of action (e.g. wearing masks in public). But something obviously goes wrong along the way. One key challenge is that not every person does receive reliable information to guide their reasoning.

In modern society people are overwhelmed by information, and they understandably struggle to separate fact from fiction and to identify trustworthy information sources. This reality poses a substantial threat to a society’s epistemic security, a society’s ability to make well-informed decisions and coordinate collective action in response to a crisis. Epistemic security is about ensuring that we do in fact know what we think we know.

In this talk, I explore how modern and emerging communication and communication mediating technologies make it more difficult for people to access and identify reliable information thus exacerbating threats to epistemic security. I paint a picture of the epistemically insecure future we are heading towards if we do not take action, and I present some thoughts for how we might start to work towards solutions.

Biography:

Elizabeth Seger is a PhD Candidate at the University of Cambridge in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and a researcher at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (LCFI). Elizabeth’s PhD research broadly addresses the ethics and regulation of AI-enabled technology with emphasis on trust in user-AI interactions and the impacts of AI on knowledge production and dissemination. In her work at LCFI, Elizabeth researches the impact of modern technologies on informed decision-making in democratic societies. Elizabeth holds a master’s degree in Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge and a BSc in Human Biology and Society from UCLA.

 

Address:The Old Schools, Trinity Ln, Cambridge, United Kingdom, CB2 1TN





Agenda

Introduction to the speaker

Presentation

Q&A