The race to develop artificial intelligence (AI) is accelerating at a dizzying rate. Tech giants like Google and OpenAI are investing large amounts of money and resources into creating AI systems that hope to outthink and outperform human intelligence, all in the name of solving some of humanity’s most complex problems and to make profits for their shareholders.
Some experts are beginning to sound the alarm that the push to create ever more sophisticated AI could pose an existential threat to humankind. The fear is that machines could potentially turn against us or become too powerful for us to control.
On the other hand, proponents argue that the benefits of AI far outweigh the risks, and that we can design systems with ethical considerations and safeguards to ensure their safe and responsible use. But the risks of AI are serious, with concerns ranging from mass unemployment to life and death decisions being made by machines with no human emotion, as well as the possibility of AI being used by bad actors in cyber warfare.
Our panel discussed the future of technology and its impact on society, exploring the pros and cons of advanced AI, and whether we can ensure its development is guided by ethical and responsible principles.
Research Director and co-founder of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media (CASM) at the think tank Demos. He presented the BBC's flagship technology programme 'Click' and is author of The Death of the Gods: The New Global Power Grab which examines how new technologies change power dynamics in our societies. He was recently appointed to Chatham House's taskforce on Responsible AI.