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Royal Academy Discourse: AI through the looking glass
Dame Wendy Hall will discuss AI and ethics with Barry O’Sullivan, MRIA in this conversational style Discourse.
Thursday, March 4, 2021, 19:00 - 20:30
Free but booking essential
Royal Irish Academy Discourse Series
The Academy’s discourses are the oldest and most renowned series of talks in Ireland. The first discourses were presented in 1786. Historically, Academy discourses were the occasion reserved for the most distinguished academics to first reveal and discuss their work in public. Robert Mallet revealed his pioneering work on earthquakes and William Rowan Hamilton talked about quaternion algebra at Academy Discourses. Recent speakers have included Nobel Laureates, Venki Ramakrishnan, Amaryta Sen, William Campbell and Sir Paul Nurse. Other distinguished speakers were Mary McAleese, Catherine Day and Sir Stephen O’Rahilly. The purpose of the Academy discourse series is to bring thought leaders to the Academy to discuss important contemporary issues.
Artificial Intelligence is set to transform society in the coming decades in ways that have long been predicted by science fiction writers but are only now becoming feasible. While AI is still a long way from being as powerful as the human brain, many machines can now outperform human beings, particularly when it comes to analysing large amounts of data. This will lead to many jobs being replaced by automated processes and machines. As with all major technological revolutions, such advancements bring with it unexpected opportunities and challenges for society with a need to consider the ethical, accountability and diversity impacts.
About the discourse
In this talk, Wendy Hall will lay out why we need to take a socio-technical approach to every aspect of the evolution of AI in society, to ensure that we all reap the benefits of AI and protect ourselves as much as possible from applications of AI that might be harmful to society. As Alice found when she went through the looking glass, everything is not always what it first appears to be.
About the speaker
Dame Wendy Hall, DBE, FRS, FREng is Regius Professor of Computer Science, Associate Vice President (International Engagement), and is an Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton. With Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt she co-founded the Web Science Research Initiative in 2006 and is the Managing Director of the Web Science Trust, which has a global mission to support the development of research, education and thought leadership in Web Science. She became a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2009 UK New Year's Honours list and is a Fellow of the Royal Society. She has previously been President of the ACM, President of BCS, Senior Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a member of the UK Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, was a founding member of the European Research Council and Chair of the European Commission’s ISTAG, was a member of the Global Commission on Internet Governance, and was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on the Digital Economy. Dame Wendy was co-Chair of the UK government’s Artificial Intelligence Review, which was published in October 2017, is the UK government’s first Skills Champion for AI and is a member of the newly formed AI Council. In May 2020, she was appointed Chair of the Ada Lovelace Institute.
About the respondent
Barry O’Sullivan, MRIA is a Professor in the School of Computer Science & Information Technology at University College Cork. He is founding director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at UCC and the SFI Centre for Research Training in Artificial Intelligence. Professor O’Sullivan is a Fellow and Past President of the European AI Association and Vice Chair of the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence. He currently serves on the Executive Council of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. He is an award-winning academic working in the fields of artificial intelligence, constraint programming, and operations research. He also works in AI and data ethics, as well as public policy-making and diplomacy related to AI. In 2017, he was elected Member of the Royal Irish Academy.