Science fiction vs science fact: world’s leading AI experts come to Cambridge



Some of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will gather in Cambridge this week to look at everything from the influence of science fiction on our dreams of the future, to ‘trust in the age of intelligent machines’.


Rarely has a technology arrived with such a rich history of myth, storytelling and hype as AI.
- Dr Stephen Cave

The two-day conference (July 13-14) at Jesus College is the first major event held by the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) since its globally-publicised launch by Stephen Hawking and other AI luminaries in October 2016.

Bringing together policy makers and philosophers, as well as leading figures from science and technology, speakers include Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, Matt Hancock (Minister for Digital and Culture), Baroness Onora O'Neill and Francesca Rossi (IBM).

Dr Stephen Cave, Executive Director of CFI, said: “Rarely has a technology arrived with such a rich history of myth, storytelling and hype as AI. The first day of our conference will ask how films, literature and the arts generally have shaped our expectations, fears and even the technology itself.

“Meanwhile, the second day will ask how and when we can trust the intelligent machines on which we increasingly depend – and whether those machines are changing how we trust each other."

Programme highlights of the conference include:

  • Sci-Fi Dreams: How visions of the future are shaping development of intelligent technology
  • Truth Through Fiction: How the arts and media help us explore the challenges and opportunities of AI
  • Metal people: How we perceive intelligent robots – and why
  • Trust, Security and the Law: Assuring safety in the age of artificial intelligence
  • Trust and Understanding: Uncertainty, complexity and the ‘black box’

Professor Huw Price, Academic Director of the Centre, and Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge, said: “During two packed days in Cambridge we’ll be bringing together some of the world’s most important voices in the study and development of the technologies on which all our futures will depend.

“Intelligent machines offer huge benefits in many fields, but we will only realise these benefits if we know we can trust them – and maintain trust in each other and our institutions as AI transforms the world around us.”

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Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge


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