AI can be an important tool for sustainable development. There is an almost overwhelming number of recent publications showing the various ways in which AI can be used for the sustainable development goals. However, these uses may come with a cost – a cost that is yet to be thoroughly assessed, evaluated and balanced. This cost can concern the environment – like carbon emissions generated while training and tuning AI models – or people more directly – like power asymmetries between those that do and do not have access to the technology – or, of course and ultimately, both at once. For this reason, Prof. Dr. van Wynsberghe from the University of Bonn, supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Institute for Science and Ethics, is launching the world’s first conference on the topic of Sustainable AI. 

The aim of this Sustainable AI conference is to get researchers talking about the environmental, social and economic costs of designing, developing, and using AI. The discussion will be directed at exploring: the normative grounding of the value of sustainability; the strength of the concept of sustainability; how to measure environmental costs of AI; understanding the intergenerational impacts of AI; and, informing public policy guidelines for the green, proportionate and sustainable development and use of AI. 

The conference will be interdisciplinary and welcomes contributions from computer sciences, philosophy, (applied) AI ethics, social sciences, law and policy, and others. There will be a variety of events including but not limited to: presentations by thought leaders in this space, a trailer for and an associated call for interaction with an art installation by Thijs Biersteker on the topic of Sustainable AI, and a panel organized by the World Economic Forum Global Council for AI and Humanity on the topic of intergenerational issues.