What will your countervailing power be?

It was an honour to be invited to attend the 43rd Annual Conference of the British Computer Society’s Specialist Group on Artificial Intelligence earlier this month. I was invited to take part in a panel discussion with Prof. John Naughton, Prof. John Stevens and Dr. Giovanna Martinez. Here’s the rough text of my closing statement:

Over the last year I’ve been following developments in the world of AI with great interest and it’s clear that the potential for good is enormous – as is the potential for harm.

A simple example of this can be found in the area of voice generation; it was a delight to hear again the classified football results read by the reanimated voice of the late James Alexander Gordon, less good was the emergence of deep fake audio, most notably of Sir Kier Starmer. The same technology used for good and for ill.

We’re told that AI will be transformative in so many areas:

Computer vision will transform medical diagnosis… and will be used to automate surveillance societies.
Natural language processing will improve real-time translation… and be used for industrial scale plagiarism.
Robotics will scale productivity… and will leave us with huge questions about the value of work.
Machine learning will lead to technological advances… and will lead us to doubt the uniqueness of humanity.

Change is coming – how do we ensure it’s for good?

Find a countervailing power that gives you a strong enough framework to shape AI for good the good of all.

I think, I’ve found one… what will yours be?

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