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Artificial intelligence: the regulator’s friend or foe in the pursuit of ecological sustainability?


Fiona Haines


Online Event


Tuesday, 5 October, 2021 - 12:30 to 13:30
Co-ordination and managing diverse demands whilst also presiding over rapid technological transformation is critical in achieving ecological sustainability. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is often noted as a critical component of a technological utopia replete with inbuilt assurances of beneficial outcomes enabled through the capacity of AI to flexibly manage complexity. This includes claims about the capacity of AI to drive the energy transition enabling a dramatic increase in renewable distributed power together with flawlessly connected electricity grids. But the implications for regulation aimed at both facilitating the energy transition whilst ameliorating the damage wrought by the process and its technologies are less clear.
On one hand AI facilitated co-ordination of renewable energy resources might reduce regulatory problems associated with managing the complexities of infrastructure based on renewable energy. Yet, critical literatures on regulation by AI raise fundamental questions about its own ecological footprint as well the threats it poses to human autonomy.
This seminar will explore these regulatory challenges to understand whether the promise of and problems associated with AI in the context of the transition can be tackled through existing regulatory approaches or whether the complex challenge AI poses also requires rethinking regulation itself.
About the Speaker
Fiona Haines, BA(Hons), PhD FASSA is Professor of Criminology at the University of Melbourne and Honorary Professor at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at ANU. She explores how businesses generate harm, commit crime and how to get them to act in the public interest. Her work is diverse, including research into industrial disasters, grievances against multinational enterprises and community responses to coal seam gas. She is currently working with Christine Parker on rethinking regulation in an ecologically constrained world. It is this work that will feed into her role as Associate Investigator in the Centre of Excellence on Automated Decision Making and Society (ADM+S) in terms of how automated decision-making, and the regulation of that decision-making, can both enable and undermine shifts to an ecologically sustainable and socially just future.
This event will be delivered online only via Zoom.


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