The 2021 Arne Næss Symposium is an annual UiO's event that has been postponed form 2020 to 2021 due to the Covid crisis. In 2020, the Arne Næss Professor(2020/21) - Lord Anthony Giddens - held a preamble webinar "What's Next: Covid 19 and the Future World Order" (https://www.sum.uio.no/english/research/networks/arne-naess-programme/arne-naess-symposia/events/anthony-giddens-covid-19-and-the-future-world.of-order.html) The theme of the 2021 Arne Næss Symposium - proposed by Prof. Giddens - is "Nature and Humans in the Age of Anthropocene". Prof. Giddens is one of the leading world sociologists with a spectacular list of publications on the challenges of globalization, post-industrial modernity, and the climate crisis. His latest interests lie in the multiple hazards and opportunities related to the emergent AI civilization. The questions asked by the Symposium include, among others, 1)How will the encroachment of AI change inter-human relations and our conceptions of the environment? 2) How will the AI influence the work life, inequality and the protection of individual and nature's rights? 3) Do we need new ethical foundations for the 'Age of A'?; 4) What is the potential of the AI to solve the climate crisis and achieve a sustainable future? According to James Lovelock, the author of the influential 'Gaia theory' - and the first Arne Næss Professor at UiO - the AI will play a positive role in accelerating solutions to the environmental crisis (see Lovelock, The Age of Novacene 2019). Prof. Giddens will problematize some of these questions in his Arne Næss lecture, in public debates and in a master-course offered as a follow-up of the Symposium.
Project leader: Nina Witoszek
Institution: Senter for utvikling og miljø (SUM)