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Edinburgh Futures Conversations – Shaping our AI Futures: Monday 6th March, 6-8 pm

Edinburgh Futures Conversations – Shaping our AI Futures

6:00 pm

Hybrid Event - Playfair Library Hall ,Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL

Given the enormous advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), many believe humanity is on the threshold of the most profound technological revolution it has ever witnessed. AI already affects our everyday lives, and our hopes and anxieties around AI run high. Some predict that further development of AI will put us on a path to human extinction while others believe it will usher in a new era of compassion, non-violence, and prosperity.

Against a background of unrelenting cultural and geopolitical tensions, looming planetary catastrophes, and big challenges in global health, justice, and democracy, will AI turn out to be yet another existential risk? Or will it help us address the major challenges of our times?

In this Futures Conversations event, leading experts will be brought together from the worlds of science, politics, and civil society to debate what our AI futures may bring, and to develop ideas for what is needed to advance our collective ability to put AI to the best possible use. The conversation will build on a series of workshops where different visions of our AI future were explored, and which had a specific emphasis on hearing the voices of people and communities that are traditionally underrepresented in these debates.

Against the ideas developed in these workshops, questions will be discussed such as, who will determine our AI future, how AI and humanity can evolve alongside each other, what being human in an AI world will mean, and how AI-driven economies and societies will work. Rather than providing principles for what AI itself “should be like”, the aim is to evolve into what we desire an “AI-ready” society could look like, and into new ideas for how we might build this future.

Chair of the session is Michael Rovatsos is Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh, and also head of the Bayes Centre, the University’s Data Science and AI innovation hub. He has over 20 years of experience in AI research, working primarily on systems where artificial or human agents collaborate or compete with each other. His work has focused on ethical aspects of AI such as fairness, diversity-awareness, and responsibility. He has published around 100 scientific articles and has been involved in research projects that have received over £18 million of external funding.