The Webinar Series

  Artificial Intelligence and Religion: AIR2020/21
Center for Religious Studies, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento
16 September 2020 - 21 April 2021

The biweekly webinars will explore current interactions between research and innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) on the one hand, religious communities, institutions, practices, precepts, beliefs, and rites on the other. The series will bring together speakers from AI, religious studies, anthropology, economics, legal studies, philosophy, and sociology. It is structured into three thematic sections:

(A) Sociological, Anthropological, and Religious Studies Approaches to AI and Religion
(B) Utopian and Dystopian Techno-Futures: AI, Transhumanism, and Religion
(C) Values and AI: Machines, Ethics, and Religion

Among the topics to be covered:
  • the role of religious vocabulary in popular AI narratives and techno-utopian or dystopian visions of human futures,
  • the involvement of religious actors in shaping current debates over AI governance,
  • the impact of AI technologies on freedom of religion or belief,
  • the value alignment problem for AI with regard to religiously grounded values,
  • and the discrepancy between non-expert perceptions of AI and the current state of the art in AI research, development and innovation.

The AIR2020/21 webinar series is embedded in the mission on religion and innovation of the Center for Religious Studies at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), as articulated in the Center's 2019 position paper, and it continues our 2018/19 workshop and lecture series Religion and Innovation, with a specific focus on innovations in AI and their impact on religion. While focusing on research on AI and religion, the series is also to be seen within the context of FBK-ISR’s work on AI governance and policies, which involves extensive consultations with religious actors. In particular, FBK-ISR is currently drafting a paper in response to the public consultation on the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence, launched by the European Commission in February 2020. Our position paper proposes a set of eleven recommendations concerning action research in religion and innovation that can benefit societal actors in their attempts to strengthen the interaction between religion and innovation. For an account of FBK-ISR’s work on religion and innovation please consult our booklet Religion & Innovation at FBK.

The conference is organised by the Center for Religious Studies (FBK-ISR) in collaboration with FBK's Center for Information and Communication Technology (FBK-ICT). 

Attendance is free. Registration will open soon.

For further information about the webinar series please email to: AIR2020 at

Go to the NEXT WEBINAR (Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM CEST)