Event Summary

The third IAS x Interdisciplinary Academic Party organized by IAS was successfully held on 10 April, 2024, at the Cultural Building. The theme of the party was “Interdisciplinary Dialogue between Law and Science”, which was hosted by Prof. Shui Bing from FLL. Prof. Zhai Xiaobo, Associate Professor of FLL, Prof. Wan Feng, Associate Professor of FST, and Prof. Hu Yuanjia, Professor of the Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences also participated in the party as speakers.

At the start of the party, Prof. Shui posed a question about how AI technology can improve the comprehensibility of traditional Chinese medical treatment. Prof. Hu explained that traditional Chinese medical treatment is based on a holistic approach and AI technology allows for the interpretation of it. However, it will take time before it can be practiced in an understandable way. The professors also discussed topics such as the prospects of brain-computer combinations and their impact on life, as well as designing algorithms for self-driving vehicles from a utilitarian perspective. According to Prof. Wan, this technology can benefit various fields such as education, medical care, entertainment, and military by providing a better understanding of the brain and its mode of operation. Prof. Wan and Prof. Zhai discussed the applications and limitations of brain-computer integration. Prof. Zhai explained the concept of utilitarianism and highlighted its limitations. From a utilitarian perspective, algorithms should be designed to calculate and perform actions in an altruistic manner. Additionally, the design of automatic driving algorithms should be regulated by the government through unified legislation.

The professors discussed various topics related to law, including its relationship with morality, science, and public opinion. Prof. Zhai emphasized that law is a branch of science and its purpose is to seek the truth, with the only difference being the conditions under which judgments are made. In general, the purpose of law is to serve the macro-moral project of minimizing pain and maximizing pleasure. However, in specific legal norms, there is no relationship between law and morality. Additionally, it was emphasized that judicial decisions should not be influenced by public opinion. Prof. Shui expressed a contrasting view, arguing that law is not a science and that there is no single correct solution. The professors also discussed the possibility of implementing a safety valve for AI technology. Prof. Wan and Prof. Hu discussed the risks and benefits of AI technology. According to Prof. Wan, it is important to address technological risks from the very beginning to ensure that technology serves us better. Prof. Hu commented on the similarities between science and Chinese medical sciences.

During the Q&A session, some students suggested that there are theories suggesting that human beings cannot create strong or super AI. However, Prof. Wan pointed out that based on the trend of technological development, we can get infinitely close to achieving this goal. The group also discussed topics such as law and morality, Chinese medical sciences, and interdisciplinary research. According to Prof. Shui, the law should establish a minimum standard of life. Legal evaluations should be based on past behavior, not future behavior. Prof. Hu distinguished between two fields of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Regarding the issue of interdisciplinarity, professors have noted that in the current era, interdisciplinary conditions facilitate innovation. Researchers must identify gaps in their own knowledge, locate intersections between disciplines, mobilize resources, and solve problems.

At the final wrap-up session, the professors shared their views on the topic. Prof. Hu Yuanjia emphasized the importance of cross-disciplines. Prof. Wan Feng suggested that we should understand, utilize, and contemplate the research on AI, despite the risks involved. He also expressed his belief that through multi-party cooperation, humans can use their wisdom to ensure the proper development of AI and secure a better future. Prof. Zhai Xiaobo suggested that a problem is a phenomenon that causes pain and prevents us from pursuing happiness. All problems have a correct answer. According to Prof. Shui Bing, we should be more concerned about the series of problems brought by today’s AI, such as the degradation of human ability, the disappearance of the sense of experience, and the degradation of social relationships. These are more urgent problems.

The IAS x Interdisciplinary Academic Party aims to strengthen research activities among scholars and students, enhance connections between them, and stimulate innovative thinking and academic exploration. The event attracted students from various disciplines and fields, creating a vibrant atmosphere.

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