The Future of Artificial Intelligence

On 1 March 2018, Demos think tank, Christ Church Oxford and Balderton Capital joined together for an exciting event focusing on the Future of Artificial Intelligence.

Paanelists explored the opportunities and challenges AI presents for business, government and citizens, and its potential to reshape our existing social order.

Bringing together some of Britain’s most dynamic young thinkers and practitioners, we will debate how best to seize the huge potential of AI as a force for good, without surrendering to the powerful risks it poses.

Carl Miller, Research Director, Demos, shares his thoughts on the discussions;

‘There are two areas of uncertainty, even mystery, around AI. The first is the tech itself: what it will do, how it will be applied, how quickly it will improve and in which direction. The second is everything else: how we change, adapt, draft new law, teach new skills, to make sure that the changes that are happening will be broadly positive and pro-social ones. Both in where speakers and audience agreed, and where they differed, we learnt something about how to address this second question.

The strongest consensus was that huge changes are already happening and will only get faster. There was little doubt too that these changes will be sweeping, unconstrained by industry, market sector, or part of society. But much less clear was how it could be controlled and channelled. What, indeed, were the right levers to use. Should new law and regulation be drafted, new professional standards, will technology itself be the only thing that can now constrain it? How could journalists seek to expose malicious uses of it, how could legislators move quickly enough, and how could the harms be identified and mitigated when the pace of change was just relentlessly accelerating. Here there were more questions, I think, than answers: a sure sign that many more events like this will happen in the future too’.

Professor Charlie Beckett, London School of Economics and Political Science
Professor Ian Goldin, Oxford Martin School
Carl Miller, Demos (Chair)
Baroness Kate Rock

View a video of the discussions here.