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 series is embedded in the mission on religion and innovation of the Center for Religious Studies (FBK-ISR), as articulated in our 2019 position paper and Strategic Plan 2019-2021. It continues our 2018/19 workshop series Religion and Innovation. While focusing on research, the series is also to be seen within the context of FBK-ISR’s work on AI governance and policies. Following extensive consultations with religious actors, FBK-ISR has recently published a response paper to the European Commission’s public consultation on the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence and participated in the UNESCO’s public online consultation on the ethics of AI. For an account of FBK-ISR’s work on religion and innovation please consult our booklet Religion & Innovation at FBK.

The webinar series 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 now open.

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