AI: Fighting for the minds of humans

AI: Fighting for the minds of humans

Professor David De Roure was one of the expert panellists at the "Science Friction" AI Film night at the British Embassy in Berlin on 21st March, organised by the UK Science & Innovation Network in Germany in conjunction with the Berlin Sci-Fi Film Festival. The panel, which followed a screening of seven AI short films, also featured filmmakers Willi Kubica and Toby Willmott alongside author and digital society expert Dr Aleksandra Sowa, and was moderated by Dr Isabela Hermann from the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.

David commented: "The short films brilliantly set the scene for the discussion, taking our thoughts away from space and robot epics into the future of everyday - like the smart home, childcare, or walking a pet. On the one hand I think the need for a good story encourages dystopian films and this means various anxieties - going back to Frankenstein - get projected into the portrayal of AI. But on the other hand those creative dystopian explorations are incredibly informative and we absolutely need these discussions."

The wide ranging debate revisited Asimov's Laws of Robotics, and wondered if and how they could be applied more broadly to the complex AI and Internet of Things systems that we're assembling today - and how regulation could be part of the answer.

David, whose research includes AI and music, was representing The Alan Turing Institute (the UK national institute for data science and AI) as well as the TORCH Digital Humanities programme. "The Turing is closely engaged in important conversations nationally around AI and data ethics, and recognises its role in providing technologies that support ethical practice, such as enhancing privacy", he added. "Many Oxford colleagues are closely involved in the ethics of AI, and we are ready to progress these discussions as we launch into new research on AI and Internet of Things."

The films presented were Desire Line, Introspect, Metal Health, the Gallery of Lost Trades, PETS, Happy Birthday and CC.