In this special edition of Scientific Mavericks, we speak with world-renowned artificial intelligence expert Toby Walsh (full bio below) about all that is AI. We cover a lot of interesting areas from killer robots to ethics to the 4 Ds of AI/robotization and the year 2062. This podcast edition has two parts, both now available for your enjoyment. We recommend listening to Part One first before diving deeper.

This podcast edition is a part of our academia-focused series where we bring to you the most interesting and relevant research areas. We sit down and pick the brains of prominent academics in Artificial Intelligence, Operations Management and Retail. Hosted, produced, and edited by Milena Salmon and featuring co-host Dr Alvaro Flores, Mathematician and Data Scientist at HIVERY.

Part One

If you like what you hear, visit our podcast page for more or subscribe on your favourite platform.

In episode 1 of 2, we cover:

What do killer robots and autonomous cars have in common?

What problems can AI be used to solve?

Ethical engineering: understanding the ethical dimensions of AI, what are they? Why should we care about them? Think about this: there will be a time in the future when AI will make decisions that we humans just cannot understand, so having Transparency & Explainability built into algorithms is going to be important, right? Maybe.

Challenges we face in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Do we need to add another “A” to AI? Why ‘autonomous’ is the basis of AI’s future.

What is the future and relationship between AI and humanity? Are things such as universal basic income and taxing robots the way to go.

In 2015, Professor Walsh helped launch an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous weapons or ‘killer robots’ that was signed by more than 20,000 AI researchers and high profile scientists, entrepreneurs and intellectuals, including Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky, Steve Wozniak, and Elon Musk. He has since been invited by Human Rights Watch to talk at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva. You can sign the petition to ban lethal autonomous weapons here: Open Letter on Autonomous Weapons & Lethal Autonomous Weapons Pledge .

Part Two

If you like what you hear, visit our podcast page for more or subscribe on your favourite platform.

In episode 2 we explore:

How AI is currently being used in everyday tasks: from voice assistance and recommendations for movies and books to routing and logistics.

How can businesses, especially retailers and CPGs, find the balance between using AI to maximise sales and give consumers what they desire vs ethical considerations? For example, if an AI model learns you like sugary drinks from your purchase history, what are the ethical (and health) implications for implementing such recommendations? Should we intervene? How transparent should AI recommendations be? How can we build more desirable feedback loops for both retailers and consumers?

The 4 Ds of AI/robotization – Dull, Dirty, Dangerous, and Difficult – and what they mean.

With the onset of The 4 Ds, we explore what skills employers (and even parents) need to start helping and encouraging their people (kids) to develop in the future? You can learn more about the 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Toby shares a simple triangle framework starting with:
1. Data skills and data literacy (i.e. Presentation Skills, Data Visualization, Python–Statistical Programming);
2. Emotional intelligence (the key ingredient for working with people); and
3. Creativity.

What the education system needs to do to help shape this new thinking and facilitate new skills creation for our younger citizens. Discover what Finland is doing to educate its citizens, with 10% of their population already educated in AI. Finland’s goal is to educate at least 1% of European citizens by 2021. Join over 410,000 other people learning about the basics of AI.

Toby highlights that the more we understand AI, the less we will see it as “black magic”, and the better decisions we will make.

Finally, we share a few insights on how a business should start with thinking about leveraging AI, including whether to buy or build and the importance of investing in your people.

About Dr Toby Walsh

Today’s special Scientific Maverick guest is Toby Walsh. When we say ‘Scientific Maverick’, we truly mean it. Toby is a leading global expert in artificial intelligence (AI). He is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales. Toby has served as Scientific Director of NICTA, Australia’s Centre of Excellence for ICT Research, and leads a research group at Data61 (the lab from which Hivery originated). Toby was named by The Australian newspaper as a “rock star” of Australia’s digital revolution and included in their list of the 100 most important digital innovators in Australia. In 2015, Professor Walsh helped launch an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous weapons or ‘killer robots’ that was signed by more than 20,000 AI researchers and high profile scientists, entrepreneurs and intellectuals, including Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky, Steve Wozniak, and Elon Musk. He has since been invited by Human Rights Watch to talk at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva. Professor Walsh has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of AI, and Fellow of the European Association for AI. He has won the Humboldt Award and the NSW Premier’s Prize for Engineering and ICT. He has written a popular book about AI, ‘Android Dreams: The Past, Present and Future of AI‘. His Twitter account, @TobyWalsh was voted one of the top ten to keep abreast of developments in AI. His blog, The Future of AI, attracts tens of thousands of readers every month. You can also purchase his recent book titled ‘2062: The World that AI Made’.

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