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We Need to Talk About AI – a series public discussions kicks off next week

A series of public panel discussions about Artificial Intelligence with speakers from across disciplines including informatics, humanities, and social sciences as well as the industry starts next week with a discussion covering big data and privacy.

A series of public panel discussions about Artificial Intelligence with speakers from across disciplines including informatics, humanities, and social sciences as well as the industry starts next week with a discussion covering big data and privacy.

The events, hosted by students from EdIntelligency, Machine Learning Society from the School of Informatics, aim to deliver an informed debate with a variety of perspectives on the important topics concerning advances in AI and modern technology.

Currently, the public debate on AI can be viewed as narrow and one-sided. On one hand, there are tech companies and investors overhyping technological advances. On the other – apocalyptic predictions: social media are feared for their interference with elections and shaping the public opinion to an extent never seen before and automation is rumoured to be on the way to replace all if not most of the jobs or even the humanity altogether.

However, this is all speculation so there is a pressing need to talk about what the real issues surrounding AI are as well as what possibilities for the future it offers.

 

"Artificial Intelligence and Big Data have revolutionised many aspects of our day-to-day lives - for example, search, healthcare, shopping, and advertising. We are certain that this trend will not stop there and AI will have a great impact on everyone's lives, so we decided to organise this series of panel discussions to raise awareness of the ethical challenges associated with AI development, clarify misconceptions, and discuss what can be done to ensure AI has a positive impact on the world. The events are aimed at a general audience and no previous technical knowledge is required!"

Mari Liis PedakEdIntelligence

First in the series of events organised by EdIntelligence will cover issues around data and privacy, focusing on the impact of the Big Data industry on our privacy and society as a whole. Tickets need to be booked in advance and are almost sold out.

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Facebook, Google, Amazon, and other websites, financial services companies and even home utility suppliers (through smart devices) are capable of collating vast amounts of personal data. But the society, in general, is more often than not unaware of what data is collected and what it is used for. Personal data is a commodity that can be sold and bought and used for marketing purposes, but also to manipulate election outcomes and restrict access to services like healthcare or housing. It has been shown that content customised using this data can be used effectively to influence people’s personal beliefs and choices.

Panellists include Lilian Edwards, a professor of Law, Innovation and Society at Newcastle Law School at Newcastle University, Kami Vaniea - a Lecturer in Cyber Security and Privacy at the University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics and Laura Cram, a professor of European Politics at the University of Edinburgh and the head of the NRLabs Neuropolitics Research lab.

Future events in the series will cover topics of SuperIntelligence, future of work, autonomous weapons and what happens when machines err.

 

Related Links

We Need to Talk About AI - series

Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Me - event

Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and me - tickets

EdIntelligence - Machine Learning Society

EdIntelligence Facebook Page