Economics lecture to explore the pros and cons of artificial intelligence

AMES, Iowa – Economist Tyler Cowen will discuss the future of artificial intelligence next week at Iowa State University when he presents the 2023 I.W. Arthur Memorial Lecture.

Cowen will discuss the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence during his appearance, exploring his belief that those who are worried about artificial intelligence destroying humankind need to make a more convincing case for their concerns. Cowen thinks that those worried about AI are too willing to limit freedoms and empower government to reduce the uncertainty and risk.

The lecture takes place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The event is free and open to the public and does not require a ticket.

Cowen is a professor of Economics at George Mason University and at the Center for the Study of Public Choice. He is also the director of the Mercatus Center, which does research to advance the knowledge about how markets solve problems. Dr. Cowen writes for the blog Marginal Revolution. His latest book, “Talent,” was published in 2022.

About I.W. Arthur

The lecture is named in honor of Ira W. “Duke” Arthur, who was born in Iowa in 1893.  Arthur graduated from Ames High School in 1912 as president of his senior class.  He then attended Iowa State College where he studied animal husbandry.  After graduating in 1916, he briefly taught animal husbandry at the University of Georgia.  However, when war broke out he became a World War I flier with the United States Air Corps. After the war, he returned to Ames where he completed a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics in 1927. He continued his study of economics, first at the University of Chicago and then at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a doctorate in 1939.

I.W. Arthur joined the Iowa State Economics Department in 1936 and became a full professor in 1959.  His duties were divided between extension and teaching.  His extension research and activities included contributions in the areas of farm leases, land tenure, social security, partnership agreements, pork and beef marketing and rural human capital.

Arthur’s greatest contributions, however, were in undergraduate teaching. His students admired him both for his kind, compassionate nature and for his straightforward, no-nonsense approach to economic problems. The ISU Department of Economics is proud to dedicate this seminar to the memory of I.W. Arthur and to the academic spirit that he strived to enhance.

This lecture is sponsored by the ISU Economic Department and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by Student Government.