Pre­par­ing for AI

AI tech­nolo­gies have the po­ten­tial to dra­mat­i­cally change as­pects of our so­ci­ety...

Central Otago Mirror - - FOOD FOR THOUGHT -

Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) tech­nol­ogy is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly use­ful and in­creas­ingly pow­er­ful.

Otago Univer­sity as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor and computer sci­en­tist Alis­tair Knott, who is giv­ing a talk in Wanaka this week, ar­gues we need new in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary struc­tures to co­or­di­nate a re­sponse.

The tech­nolo­gies have the po­ten­tial to dra­mat­i­cally change as­pects of our so­ci­ety, Knott says.

‘‘We need AI tech­nol­o­gists to have some train­ing be­yond computer science, that gives them some un­der­stand­ing of how tech­nolo­gies af­fect com­mu­ni­ties.

‘‘And we need po­lit­i­cal and le­gal ad­min­is­tra­tors to have some un­der­stand­ing of AI tech­nolo­gies, so they can make in­formed de­ci­sions about how to reg­u­late them,’’ he said.

Knott stud­ied psy­chol­ogy and phi­los­o­phy at Ox­ford Univer­sity, and has a PhD in ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence from the Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh. He has been in­ter­ested in the eth­i­cal and so­cial im­pli­ca­tions of AI through­out his ca­reer, and in Jan­uary 2016 co-founded the AI and So­ci­ety dis­cus­sion group at Otago. He jointly co­or­di­nates a pro­ject funded by the New Zealand Law Foun­da­tion on ‘AI and Law in New Zealand’, with As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sors Colin Gav­aghan (Law) and James Ma­clau­rin (Phi­los­o­phy).

Knott’s Wanaka talk fol­lows a short pre­sen­ta­tion by the Royal So­ci­ety pres­i­dent Richard Bed­ford.

WHAT: Royal So­ci­ety talk, Wanaka Pres­by­te­rian Church, Tenby Street, Wanaka.

WHO: As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Alis­tair Knott, Otago Univer­sity

WHEN: Fri­day, Au­gust 4, 6pm. Cost $5.

JEFF SPICER

A ro­bot at­tends an in­ter­ac­tive ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence sto­ry­telling event for kids in Lon­don in 2016.

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