Reith Lectures explore the impact of AI on our lives

A human finger connecting to a robot finger

The National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD) has hosted a recording of a prestigious BBC Reith Lecture on the control of increasingly sophisticated AI systems.

The fourth and final BBC 2021 Reith Lecture was recorded at the NICD and will be broadcast on the BBC on 22 December 2021.

How can we get it right?

All four lectures recorded earlier this autumn explore the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and ask: how can we get it right?

Stuart Russell is Professor of Computer Science and founder of the Centre for Human-Compatible AI at the University of California.

In the final lecture, Stuart explored questions around human control over increasingly capable AI systems.

Professor Russell said:

The topic of AI is ubiquitous in the media, yet the opportunities for in-depth explanation are few.

I look forward to opening a conversation concerning questions about our future with AI, questions in which every human being has a stake.

Benefits of the data revolution

The NICD, based in The Catalyst at Newcastle Helix, was created in 2019 with:

  • £15 million funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • £15 million from Newcastle University.

It’s mission is to run collaborative projects with businesses to transfer data science skills in to the UK workforce and ensure British organisations are ready to reap the benefits of the data revolution.

This includes through more sophisticated use of AI.

Boosting the UK’s leading role

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is committed to boosting the UK’s already leading role in AI and promoting the country as a place to study, invest and work within this field.

UKRI has already committed funding that is developing Britain’s AI research and innovation portfolio through:

Potential across society and the economy

Dr Kedar Pandya, EPSRC Director for Cross-Council Programmes said:

We are delighted to see the NICD host Professor Russell’s fascinating lecture.

The UK has great strengths in many areas of AI research and innovation and we are committed to ensuring that the potential of this work is realised across society and the economy.

We are working with our partners in academia, business and government to support the government’s first national AI strategy and create an environment in which world-leading researchers and innovators will thrive.

Top image:  Credit: PhonlamaiPhoto, Getty Images

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