Initially trained as an engineer and philosopher, Jean-Gabriel Ganascia turned early to computer science and artificial intelligence. He received a Ph.D. on knowledge-based systems in 1983 and a Thèse d’État on symbolic machine learning in 1987, both from the University of Paris-Saclay. He is currently Professor of Computer Science at the Sorbonne University. He continues his research in artificial intelligence at LIP6 (Laboratory of Computer Science of the Sorbonne University) where he leads the ACASA team, i.e. Cognitive Agents and Symbolic Machine Learning.
A specialist in data mining and machine learning, his current research activities focus on literary aspects of digital humanities, computational philosophy and the ethics of the digital. In the past, he directed the Programme de Recherche Coordonné “sciences cognitives” (1992-1994) before creating and directing the Scientific Interest Group “sciences de la cognition” (1995-2001), which financed the cognitive science activities of the French Ministry of Research, CNRS, Inria, CEA and INRETS teams. He then created and directed the Labex OBVIL (2011-2021), which coordinated the efforts of computer scientists at LIP6 and literary teams at the Sorbonne on the literary side of digital humanities.
Jean-Gabriel Ganascia is a EurAI Fellow (https://www.eurai.org/award/fellows), a member of the board of directors of MURS (Mouvement Universel pour la Responsabilité Scientifique) and of the CNPEN-CCNE which is the Ethics subcommittee on digital ethics of the CCNE (French National Ethics Committee). He is also the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the CHEC (Cycle des Hautes Études de la Culture), a higher education program designed is to provide top civil servants with a thorough grounding in current cultural policies and challenges, Chairman of the Ethics Committee of “Pôle Emploi” that is the French national employment agencies and Chairman of the AFAS (“Association Française pour l’Avancement des Sciences”) that is one of the oldest French scientific associations. Jean-Gabriel Ganascia has also been Chairman of the CNRS ethics committee (COMETS) between 2016 and 2021.
During his career, he has published more than 500 articles in conference proceedings, books and scientific journals. He is also the author of a dozen books for the general public, the latest of which, entitled “Servitudes virtuelles”, has been published by Éditions du Seuil in March 2022.
This has been his area of research for over 40 years. He has extensive experience in this discipline, in which he has published extensively and taught many students. He has worked in many areas of AI, including machine learning, deep learning, generative AI, automated reasoning, etc. He has also given talks to non-specialist audiences who want to understand the current challenges and issues in AI. He is also able to show how artificial intelligence is being applied (and will be applied in the near future) in specific fields such as FinTech, healthcare technologies, agronomy etc.
He has been working for several years on the ethics of the digital and the ethics of artificial intelligence. He is able to present the menaces, to clearly distinguish between the real dangers from the false hazards like the technological Singularity. These dangers include, in particular, everything related to the protection of privacy, the possible biases and the possible discrimination that they generate, the unfairness of the technologies, the possible manipulation, the threat to individual autonomy and public freedoms, etc. He will also explain the current regulations that have been built to protect us from these risks.
The goal of Renaissance humanism was to better understand man by studying the works of the human mind. With the digital, we are entering a new humanism, the digital humanism, where it’s possible to better understand human intelligence with the power of the digital. The cognitive sciences allow us to study more precisely the biological substrate of our intelligence, while the digital humanities renew the traditional humanities with the power of the digital. He would like to describe the recent advances in these fields and show how in what they can make us optimistic about the future of humanity, despite the fears being spread by transhumanists.
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