Who’s to blame when Artificial Intelligence goes wrong? A debate

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays an increasingly important part in our lives. AI can mimic and generate human behaviour and take some of the drudgery out of routine tasks but what happens when it goes wrong? Should we blame humans or machines?

This question, amongst others, will be debated at the Life Science Centre on Thursday 9 February at 8pm. Artificial Stupidity is part of Life’s popular Speakeasy programme – a series for adults in which current and often controversial topics are debated in a quirky and often humorous way.

Chief Executive, Linda Conlon added: “Artificial intelligence is something that both fascinates and frightens in equal measure. We welcome the fact that it can make life easier for us but are also suspicious of how it might get too clever in the future, perhaps even taking the place of our family and friends.

“Our expert panel also explores how autonomous robots can make decisions and investigate crimes and looks at the ethical and legal framework surrounding AI. It promises to be a fascinating and lively event.”

The four panellists are:

  • Professor Subramanian Ram Ramamoorthy (Ram), Chair of Robot Learning and Autonomy at the University of Edinburgh. His work focuses on enabling autonomous robots to make effective decisions in uncertain environments.
  • Dr Clara Crivellaro, a Senior Research Fellow at Newcastle University. She looks at how digital innovation can be more democratic and how to develop it with social justice in mind.
  • Luke Chambers, a researcher in Artificial Intelligence Law at Northumbria University. His work examines how AI is used to investigate crimes and provide evidence in trials.
  • Dr Mhairi Aitken, an Ethics Research Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and AI. Mhairi is a Sociologist working on the role of AI in public policy and is interested in exploring creative ways to engage the public.

Dr Mhairi Aitken, who is also a stand-up comedian, added: “There’s been a lot of talk about AI in the media lately – claims that AI is gaining consciousness or that rogue robots are attacking humans. Hollywood has a lot to answer for!

“Regardless of the hype, AI systems have a massive impact on our lives as individuals as well as on our society. So, it’s really important to have public conversations to clear up misconceptions about what AI is - and what it can and can’t do for us - and to clarify our role in how to use it to our advantage. This Science Speakeasy is the ideal forum in which to debate this.”

The event will take place under Gaia – Life’s spectacular 7-metre-diameter recreation of planet Earth.

Tickets cost £5 and places are limited. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Event: Thursday 9 February, 2023. 8pm – 9.45pm. Doors open 7.30pm. Book your tickets here - https://www.life.org.uk/events/artificial-stupidity

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Bing's Nature Explorers at WWT Washington
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