Siri, what’s your advice?
On AI and moral judgment

Katleen Gabriels, University of Maastricht
30 September 2021, online
Seminar series ‘Sense & Sensibility of AI

AI is outperforming humans in more and more domains – just think of the promising breakthroughs in medical decision-making. To what extent can AI also play a role in moral decision-making?

Giubilini and Savulescu (2018) define humans as “suboptimal information processors.” Due to stress, time constraints and limited mental capabilities, we do not always take into account all the relevant information necessary to arrive at a well-considered moral judgment. Moreover, we often act inconsistently. To make up for these shortcomings, they propose to be assisted by AI in moral decision-making. Unlike humans, AI can collect, analyze and process huge amounts of data in a very short period of time.

To what extent is it realistic that AI will assist our moral judgment in the future? Katleen Gabriels discusses different types of Artificial Moral Agents (AMAs) and the technical, conceptual and ethical challenges of moral judgments made by AI.

Katleen Gabriels

Katleen Gabriëls

Dr. Katleen Gabriels is a moral philosopher, specialised in computer and machine ethics. She is an Assistant Professor at Maastricht University (FASoS, Department of Philosophy). She researches the co-shaping of morality and computer technologies. Katleen is the programme director of the BA Digital Society.

She holds an MSc in Germanic Philology from KU Leuven and an MSc in Moral Sciences from Ghent University and a doctoral degree (2014) in Philosophy and Moral Sciences from Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), where she worked as a postdoctoral researcher from 2014 to 2017 and as professor ad interim (2016-2017). She was also a visiting postdoctoral researcher at the University of Vienna (2016). In addition, she also studied one full academic year (2007-2008) at Helsinki University (Erasmus programme).

From April 2017 to December 2018 Katleen was an Assistant Professor in the research group Philosophy and Ethics at the Department Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). The Willy Calewaert-Chair 2018-2019 ( was awarded to her by the faculty Engineering Sciences of the VUB.

She is an executive board member of INSEIT (, a steering committee member and the deputy chair of ETHICOMP, an international organisation that occupies itself with ethical computing, and an affiliate member of 4TU Centre for Ethics and Technology. She is the author of Conscientious AI. Machines Learning Morals (VUBPRESS, 2020), the revised and English version of Regels voor robots. Ethiek in tijden van AI (2019, VUBPRESS). Her first book Onlife. Hoe de digitale wereld je leven bepaalt (How digitalisation shapes your life) was published in 2016 (Lannoo).


  • 30 September 2021, 11-12h
  • Location: online
  • Contact: Laura Alonso
  • Language: English
  • Target audience: researchers with knowledge of the technical aspects of AI & machine learning


  • Registration: until 29 September 2021
  • Price, free, but registration is required
  • Registration closed

Sense & Sensibility of AI

Seminar series on AI Ethics:
Fairness, Privacy, Trustworthiness

AI has an increasing influence on our daily lives, examples include automated decision-making for high-stake decisions such as mortgages and loans, automated risk assessments for bail or recommenders on the internet. These AI systems carry the risk of creating filter bubbles and polarization. While AI is being rolled out into society, the discussion on how AI-based systems may align with and even affect our values, is pushed to the forefront. We gave the computer senses, but how can we give it sensibility? It requires a multi-disciplinary view, where both technical and non-technical perspectives have a prominent place.

In our lecture series ‘Sense & Sensibility of AI,’ we aim for researchers to learn about the different aspects of Ethics in AI, not only to become aware of them but also to learn about the impact of AI on society and about methodologies to identify, assess, and possibly address ethical issues. The monthly seminars tackle subjects such as bias and fairness, privacy, trustworthiness, balancing technical, social, and regulatory perspectives.

The series is targeted towards doctoral students working in the broad field of AI and data science. To understand the lectures in full, it may be required to have a background in the technical aspects of AI/machine learning.

Sense & Sensibility of AI is a seminar series developed by Flemish AI Academy in collaboration and with the support of all our partners, all universities in Flanders, and Knowledge Center Data & Society.