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CAS SEE Seminars with Guests: Massimo Durante

Massimo Durante is Professor in Philosophy of Law and Legal Informatics at the Department of Law, University of Turin, Italy. He is coordinator of the Turin Unit of Research for the Law, Science and Technology Joint Doctorate: Rights of the Internet of Everything. His current research concerns issues of law and technology and digital governance from a legal, ethical, and epistemological perspective.

On Thursday, June 10th at 10 am (CET), we hosted CAS SEE Weekly Seminar with Professor Massimo Durante, presented by our fellow Gabriele Giacomini. The seminar is entitled: “Computational Power. The Impact of ICT on Law, Society and Knowledge”.

We delegate more and more decisions and tasks to artificial agents, machine-learning mechanisms, and algorithmic procedures or, in other words, to computational systems. The current digital revolution based on computational power is chiefly an everyday revolution. It is therefore profound, unnoticed and widespread, for it affects our customary habits and routines and alters the very texture of our day-to-day lives. 

This opens a precise line of inquiry, which constitutes the basic thesis by Massimo Durante: our computational power is exercised by trying to adapt not just the world but also our representation of reality to how computationally based ICTs work. The impact of this technology is such that it does not leave things as they are: it changes the nature of agents, habits, objects and institutions and hence it subverts the existing order, without necessarily generating a new one. Durante argues that this power is often not distributed in an egalitarian manner but, on the contrary, is likely to result in concentrations of wealth, in dominant positions or in unjust competitive advantages. This opens up a struggle, with respect to which the task of reaffirming the fundamental values, the guiding principles, the priorities and the rules of the game, which can transform, or attempt to transform, a fierce confrontation between enemies in a fair competition between opponents rests on us.


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