Conference Announcement

Can Algorithms Calculate Morally?

Exploring the Role of Artificial Intelligence in Moral Decision-making

October 10th & 11th 2022, Munich School of Philosophy, Munich, Germany

Algorithms and machine learning have increasingly gained traction in many societal, economic, and political spheres. For instance, we find algorithmic or automatic decision-making in human resource management, policing, autonomous mobility, nursing, or social work. The leading question of this interdisciplinary conference is whether digital tools can or even should play a significant role in situations, in which decisions are morally complicated and riddled with conflicts.

The aim is to identify and discuss fundamental issues at the intersection of ethics, computer studies and social sciences. We strive to examine how we can develop shared strategies and practices within the contexts in which digital tools can be deployed to tackle moral conflicts. We are inviting scholars from various disciplines to create a platform for exchange on algorithmic decision-making in different areas, such as automated mobility, nursing studies, predictive policing, financial services, social services, migration, public administration. Our research project, KAIMo, will contribute their research on the use of digital tools in child welfare services and institutional social settings. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Human-machine relations: how do human beings relate to machine intelligence and algorithmic calculations? Can machines be “better decision-makers”? What does it mean to decide moral questions with the help of A.I.? How do we translate moral questions into code? Are there moral machines?
  • Bias and discrimination in algorithms: the problem of inequality and epistemic injustice in algorithmic risk predictions and screenings. How biased is A.I.? Can we debias processes by digital means?
  • (Ethical) requirements for software engineering: how to design tools in an ethical way? What are the requirements to introduce software in an ethically sensitive environment?
  • Data protection, privacy, and responsibility: how to get adequate, representative, and valid data for moral decisions? How much information do we need? How much privacy do we grant participants? Who is responsible for moral decisions?
  • Participation: What is the role of participation? How should the groups that are affected or that must use algorithms participate in their development?

Invited speakers


Virginia Eubanks; Associate Prof. Political Science (University of Albany)

Bias and discrimination in data and algorithms

Virginia Dignum, Prof. Computer Science, Social and Ethical AI (Umeå University & Technical University Delft)  

Orwat, Carsten, Dr., Senior Researcher Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis) 

Rebecca Gutwald, Dr., Senior Researcher Philosophy (Munich School of Philosophy)

Human-machine relations

Doris Aschenbrenner, Assistant Prof. Industrial Design Engineering (Technical University Delft) 

Carolin Wienrich, Juniorprof. Human-Computer-Media (University of Würzburg)

Data protection, privacy, and data quality & Responsibility

Tanja Henking, Prof. Criminal Law, Medical Law, Medical Ethics (University for Applied Sciences Würzburg)

Rainer Mühlhoff, Prof. Ethics and Social Philosophy of the Digital Society (University of Osnabrück) 

(Ethical) requirements for software engineering

Kerstin Schlögl-Flierl, Prof. Moral Theology (University of Augsburg) - tbc

Laura Sartori, Assistant Prof. Political and Social Sciences (Universita di Bologna) 


Doris Allhutter, Dr., Senior Researcher Science and Technology (Austrian Academy of Sciences. Institute of Technology Assessment) 

Alexander Filipovic, Prof. Social Ethics (University of Vienna) 

Workshop presenting prototypes developed in KAIMo

Jennifer Burghardt, Maximilian Kraus, Rebecca Gutwald (Nürnberg, Würzburg, Munich)

Presentations by young scholars

To be announced

Call for contributions

As part of the conference, we would like to create a virtual space for (young) scholars to present their current projects and research approaches.

Contributions may be, but are not limited to:  

  1. Audio- or video presentations (max. 5 Minuten)
  2. Explanatory videos (max. 5 Minuten)
  3. Academic posters
  4. Live-pitches / prototype demonstration

Please refer to this document for detailed information on how to submit contributions.