Technology and Utopia

Jun 12, 2019, 02:00 pm - 04:00 pm, IHS, Josefstädter Straße 39, 1080 Vienna

Public Lecture by Lord Robert Skidelsky

In contemporary discussions about the future of artificial intelligence we often lose our heads. While economists offer bleak predictions of mass job losses and a deepening of already widespread precarity, Silicon Valley utopians insist that new technologies are bringing us ever closer together and will one day deliver us from work, disease and poverty. But when human life is reduced to a set of rational processes waiting to be optimised we risk losing sight of the irreducible quality of human experience. With his characteristic attention to the subtleties of the human condition, Robert Skidelsky offers a challenging account of what it means to pursue the good life in the age of the machines.

Robert Skidelsky is the 2019 Fellow of the joint IHS-IWM Fellowship Program. Now an emeritus professor of political economy at Warwick University, he was made a member of the House of Lords in 1991, and is a fellow of the British Academy. Lord Skidelsky is best known for his three-volume biography of the eminent British economist John Maynard Keynes.

The event will be chaired by Robert Braun. It is taking place in cooperaton with IWM.

Please send your registration to event(at)ihs.ac.at.

betrayal aversion hinders the effectiveness of bonus contracts. If the principal promises to pay a bonus for sufficiently high effort, the message is ineffective when agents are characterized by a high degree of betrayal aversion. In strong contrast, employees with a low degree of betrayal aversion increased their performance by more than 50% when they received this message. Our findings emphasize that psychological costs may be an important obstacle for the success of economic incentives.

Holger A. Rau is Assistant Professor of Experimental Economics at the University of Göttingen and currently a guest at IHS. For more details, see his website.

The event will be chaired by Kerstin Grosch.

Please send your registration to event(at)ihs.ac.at.