Debate on Ethics of New Technologies and Artificial Intelligence "Tech Futures: Hope or Fear?"

When :

from Tuesday 22 January, 2019
to Tuesday 22 January, 2019

Type of event :

Meeting by Member States or Institutions

Where :

UNESCO Headquarters, 125 Avenue de Suffren, 75007, Paris, France

Contact :

Gloria Esther Vernizzi,

UNESCO is organizing a debate on “Tech Futures: Hope or Fear?” in order to reflect on the current and emerging ethical challenges raised by new cutting-edge technologies, in particular in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and their implications for individuals and societies.The panel debate will take place from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (Room II), on 22 January 2019.

The purposes of this event are to bring together eminent experts in the fields of science, law, engineering, ethics, philosophy and sociology, entrepreneurs, and the general public to discuss the many societal and ethical questions linked to high-tech futures and present them as food for thought for reinforcing the role of science as public good and building public trust in science and new technologies.

It will be moderated by Andrés Roemer, UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Societal Change and the Free Flow of Knowledge, Mexican writer and public figure, who will introduce the topic and invite six distinguished international panelists to present their views in favour or against high-tech futures for humanity.


Bunmi Banjo, business leader, as well as a marketing and strategy professional, is the former Head of Brand and Ecosystem Development for Google Africa and the CEO of Kuvora Inc

Moran Cerf, Professor of Neuroscience and Business at the Kellogg School of Management and the Neuroscience Programme at Northwestern University (Chicago, USA). He is also a member at the Institute on Complex Systems and Visiting Faculty at the MIT Media Lab. He holds a doctorate in Neuroscience from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), as well as Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Physics and Philosophy from Tel-Aviv University.

Priscila Chaves Martinez, co-founder and executive director of 10X, innovation for impact, Customer Experience Strategist for Latin America's largest AI firm Cognitiva with 14 years of working experience at the intersection of technology, business and entrepreneurship and collaboration with multinations and startups in North and Latin America, Africa and South-East Asia;

Constanza Gómez-Mont, founder and CEO of C Minds, a think-and-do-tank for innovation to impact emerging cities. She has worked during the last 10 years on the design of public policies, legislation and community interventions. Constanza Gómez-Mont has also been a consultant on development issues for various organisations, including the World Bank, the United Nations, national and local governments.

Luisa Munaretto, founder of the Venture Capital firm “Tech-IA Impact Invest”, investor in start-ups and board member of different listed and privately held companies, she contributes to the expansion of innovative business models, which are leveraging AI and promotes female talent;

Floyd Romesberg, biotechnologist, biochemist, and geneticist, who is known for leading the team that created the first Unnatural Base Pair (UBP) – thus expanding the genetic alphabet of four letters to six in 2012 – as well as overseeing breakthroughs in semi-synthetic biology in the intervening years. Floyd Romesberg won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Bioorganic Chemistry award in 2018.

The debate will be open to the public, and live webcasted:

English -
French -

It will be organized in parallel with the art exhibition "Beyond Reality" of the plastic artist Irene Zundel. The official opening ceremony of the exhibition will be held on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 at 6.30 p.m. in Hall Ségur of the UNESCO House.