Promoting Human Dignity in the Age of Technology: CHASS Dean Lectures at Oxford

April 5, 2024

Dr. Javier Clavere, dean of the UIW College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS), recently had the privilege of lecturing at St. Anne’s College at the University of Oxford’s Education Research Symposium. He was among the 54 esteemed researchers and academics who presented ongoing research related to educational frameworks for the 21st century and the future. All research was presented with an underlying desire to promote educational systems that are healthy and supportive of students and their ongoing needs in an ever-evolving world.

Clavere lectured on his research related to artificial intelligence and cognition, and the application of human dignity in humanistic entrepreneurship and humanistic leadership. He addressed that within an era where technology is functioning at its highest quality yet, as well as rapidly evolving, artificial intelligence and quantum mechanics are going to become more present in society. Specifically, as these tools mimic human reasoning, they will affect how people process and transmit information.

“How do we prepare ourselves to assist in that?” questioned Clavere. “Technology is going to mimic human reasoning so closely that it will be very hard to discern which one is which. Artificial intelligence (AI) right now is in its infancy, but it's advancing every day.”

Clavere has been laying down the foundation of this research for about five years now. He’s read many texts on the multiple moving parts of technology and how it will affect human dignity to assist in developing a sense of direction for his research.

Clavere noted that it is important to recognize that as technological advancements become more accessible to people, technology will never replace natural human processes that are practiced while learning and within our daily lives. Although technology aids us in various ways, falling out of touch with our humanity would be detrimental.

As the dean of CHASS, Clavere gets to witness just how influential technology is on the school’s students and faculty. Although his research is still in its beginning stages, he – and those at the Oxford Education Research Symposium – recognizes just how important it is to study how technology influences the way people interact, how they learn and the quality of their mental health.

Clavere left the symposium with new friends, supporters of his work and many who asked to keep in contact with him as he continues to further develop his research to discover new findings that will help to preserve humanity and human dignity.

“I think that the idea of connecting back to the humanistic approach to who we are as individuals is an essential tool,” shared Clavere. “The tool is not to overcome the human spirit because we won't be able to despite how hard technology tries. I hope that this research is just the beginning.”