Artificial Intelligence and Liberal Futurism

February 7-9, 2020, Arlington VA

Earlier this year, IHS hosted the first of its new series of internally-developed Discussion Colloquia on Artificial Intelligence and Liberal Futurism. The program gathered 15 students at varying stages in their academic careers, including one undergraduate participant, from a range of different disciplines.

Open Educational Classroom Resources

The weekend’s reading was chock-full of depressing statistics about the tyrannical uses to which governments put technology, doomsday prognostications calls for iron-fisted global government, and only a few stray voices sounding notes of caution or skepticism.

– Dr. Anthony Comegna, Program Manager, Institute for Humane Studies

The program challenged participants with the task to develop their own vision for a ‘Liberal Futurism.’ They remarked in their discussion that Futurism in general—whether the Italian, German, Russian, or other varieties from the early 20th century—has always been characterized by an authoritarian streak.

By the end of the colloquium, our students were rushing to expand on their own developing versions of a truly liberal Futurism where the world of tomorrow is always more free, more prosperous, and more humane than the world of today.

– Dr. Anthony Comegna, Program Manager, Institute for Humane Studies
Anthony Comegna
Dr. Anthony Comegna

Interested in AI and its implications on society’s future? Listen to Episode 24 of our Ideas in Progress podcast. The show is hosted by Dr. Anthony Comegna and the “AI and Liberalism” episode explores themes discussed at this event with IHS faculty partner, Dr. James Caton.

Learn more about our upcoming Discussion Colloquia, faculty and graduate programming, and funding opportunities at

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