Artificial Intelligence Ethics, Human Cognition, and Society - Aditya Johri, George Mason University, USA

Thursday, 12.05.2022, 3 pm (CEST), Campus Magdeburg, House 14, Lecture Hall 14
Meeting-ID: 899 6859 7820

Humans have augmented their practices for centuries through different tools and technologies. Whether it was the development of language and oral culture or the symbolic system of writing, we have always found ways to augment cognition to make us more “intelligent.” By offloading our thinking and exchanging ideas to an external representational system, we have made remarkable progress at a societal level. AI-based Augmentation, though, is different. A.I. gives technology agency the power to initiate interaction; to be a communicator on par with other humans. How we understand and respond to these shifts will determine the progress we make toward critical issues that confront us, including social justice objectives of access and equity. What makes AI-based systems so contested, and how can we better understand their impact on society? How can we train future developers and users of AI-driven systems to have an ethical mindset?

In this talk, I address these multifaceted questions by (1) examining the historical legacy of human augmentation through technology and the ethical implications of these developments; (2) discussing the need for ethics instruction for future technologists, and providing an example of one instructional technique, role-play case studies, that can achieve that goal; and (3) ending with a reflexive look at current teaching and learning practices that use technology and the ethical implications of our choices.

Aditya Johri is a Professor of Information Sciences and Technology at George Mason University, USA. He studies how technology shapes learning across settings and the ethical implications of using technology in education. His research has been recognized with several best paper awards, and his co-edited volume, The Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research (CHEER), received the 2015 Best Book Publication Award from Division I of AERA. His research is supported primarily by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), and he is a past recipient of the NSF Early CAREER Research Award. Most recently, he served as a Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in ICT at Aalto University, Finland (2021), and while a faculty at Virginia Tech (2007-2013), he was recognized with the Engineering Dean’s Faculty Fellow Award for Extraordinary Performance in Research (2013) and Outstanding New Assistant Professor Award (2010). He received the 2022 University Teaching Excellence Award and 2022 OSCAR Mentoring Award for undergraduate research advising at George Mason University. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences & Technology Design (2007) from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA. More information is available at:

This talk was made possible by projects h2d2 and ZAKKI at Magdeburg-Stendal University

Moderation: Prof. Dr. Michael Herzog
Research Group SPiRIT,,