The New Sciences of the Artificial and Why we Need Philosophy

IWM Digital Humanism Fellow and TU Wien Guest Professor Viola Schiaffonati discusses the role of philosophy in a technology dominated future.


June 27th 2024

  • 18:00 – 20:00 CEST
  • IWM Library
  • 1090 Vienna, Spittelauer Lände 3

On June 27, 2024, the lecture with Viola Schiaffonati will take place in the IWM library.


Since the publication in 1969 of Herbert Simon’s seminal book The Sciences of the Artificial, the question of the artificiality of our world has been raised and analyzed with different approaches. The current acceleration in the design, deployment, and use of autonomous and intelligent systems (notably AI and intelligent robotics) calls for an urgent reconsidering of the realm of artificiality in light of the peculiarities of these artificial systems and their increasing diffusion throughout the fabric of society. Notwithstanding their evolution and diffusion, a comprehensive investigation into the nature of artificiality and the foundations of the new sciences of the artificial is missing. In this talk, I will discuss the philosophical foundations of this new and interdisciplinary field of study.

About the Speaker

Viola Schiaffonati is associate professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria. She holds a PhD in Philosophy of Science from Università di Genova. She has been visiting scholar at the Department of Philosophy of the University of California at Berkeley and visiting researcher at the Suppes Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Science and Technology of the Stanford University. Among the other things, Viola Schiaffonati is Director of the CINI National Laboratory on Informatics & Society (IeS), one of the three founding members of Polimi META, the study unit of social sciences and humanities for science and technology, and Associate Editor of the journal Science and Engineering Ethics. She has been a member of the European Commission Expert Group on AI and data in education and training as representative of Informatics Europe. Her research interests are in the philosophy of AI and robotics, the epistemology and methodology of experiments in computer engineering and autonomous robotics, the ethical issues of intelligent and autonomous systems.