Democracy and A.I.–The Encroaching Machine: Reframing Rights in the Age of A.I.

Event Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Room 122, 1100 E 57th St, Chicago, IL
and livestreamed
Date and Time: Friday, Mar 31, 2023, 1–4 pm

Join us for a conversation about the challenges that artificial intelligence and technology pose to democracy.

Sheila Jasanoff will deliver the keynote address, "The Encroaching Machine: Reframing Rights in the Age of A.I."

What happens to human rights when machines developed to enhance our powers seem ready to assert power over us?

Recent developments in AI have unsettled expectations about the firmness of the line between human and nonhuman, emotion and intellect, and person and machine. In this talk, Sheila Jasanoff will draw on comparisons between biotechnology and A.I. to explore how technological change reconfigures our sense of human nature and with what implications for human rights and entitlements.

Keynote Address

Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard University 


Aziz Huq, Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor of Law, University of Chicago

David Gunkel, Professor of Media Studies, Northern Illinois University 

Torsten Reimer, University Librarian and Dean of the University Library, University of Chicago

Lightning presentations by UChicago students will follow.

More about the Speaker

Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School. A pioneer in her field, she has authored more than 130 articles and chapters and is the author or editor of more than 15 books, including The Fifth Branch, Science at the Bar, Designs on Nature, The Ethics of Invention, and Can Science Make Sense of Life?

Her work explores the role of science and technology in the law, politics, and policy of modern democracies. She founded and directs the STS Program at Harvard; previously, she was the founding chair of the STS Department at Cornell.

She was selected as the 2022 recipient of the Holberg Prize – dubbed the Nobel prize for social science and humanities - for her prolific and pioneering efforts in the field of science and technology studies. For more information on Professor Jasanoff, please visit

Co-sponsored by the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, the University of Chicago Law School and the University of Chicago Library.