Brian Cox and the killer robots

By Rose Lewis on Thursday, 12 January 2017

Last night I went to a debate hosted by the ever-lovely Brian Cox on the subject of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The panel consisted of five of the leading minds in the subject, including the scientific advisor on the excellent AI film Ex Machina

The questions were all submitted beforehand by the audience and were pitched at a variety of levels, from a simple explanation of the difference between the terms artificial intelligence and machine learning (in short machine learning is one of many techniques which are used in the field of artificial intelligence) to discussions of the ethical issues of bringing a consciousness into the world.

In truth it is very hard to pin point exactly where the line is at which we would start to consider AI systems as another life form – self awareness, consciousness, and complexity of thinking were all discussed and discounted as measures of “life”.

Bringing the conversation back to the more immediate future, it’s fascinating to consider all of the ways in which machine learning is currently used in our every day lives, that many people are unaware of and these were discussed in some detail, including concerns over security risks and where the real dangers are, with autonomous weapon systems being developed.

The Royal Society, who ran the event, have posted a video of the entire event on their website which I highly recommend if you’d like to know more.

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