Will AI be the Defining Technology of the 21st Century?
Impactful and transformative, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to define a century with its technological capabilities to revolutionise many areas of our lives, including healthcare, education and business.
Our recent Global AI Festival with telecoms giant, BT, delved into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and how its technological advancements reach far and wide.
From healthcare, education, business and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) to agriculture, energy, transport and art—we celebrate the ways AI is positively impacting and successfully shaping our lives now and in the future.
Featuring over 60 speakers’ keynote presentations, seminars, industry workshops, fireside chats and demonstration showcases, the Festival was packed full of world-leading representatives and leading organisations on the role AI plays in our societies, businesses and daily lives.
Google, Facebook and AstraZeneca were among the renowned companies delving into AI discoveries, considerations and understanding.
The Potential of AI
According to PWC, in 2021, around 25% of companies already have “processes fully enabled by AI with widespread adoption”. AI is all about innovation, with vast opportunities present in business, employment and skills.
A spotlight was shone on AI-generated artworks, an artificial pancreas, and healthcare and management tools that will improve health inequalities and save lives in developing countries. We’ve seen how AI is also playing a role in fighting Covid-19 by predicting its evolution, monitoring recoveries and fighting misinformation.
Highlighting the incredible capabilities of AI, at the Festival, revered British electronics engineer, Tommy Flowers, who designed and built the world’s first programmable electronic computer, appeared as a hyper-realistic avatar. In the video, ‘Tommy’s avatar’ says: “My work lives on in your smartphones, iPads, and desktop computers. It’s a testament to the fact humanity can scale the greatest heights during the darkest of circumstances.”
Leading AI Trends
Emphasising the leading trends impacting AI today, Facebook’s AI Product Lead, Joe Spisak, delved into AI at scale and the current trends within the AI frameworks driving adoption. These are: usability; production usage; the proliferation of accelerators; model diversity; model sizes exploding; and the combination of open source and startups.
The Role of AI
Professor Gerard Parr MBE, Head of School of Computing Science at the University of East Anglia (UEA) delivered a keynote speech on ‘Lifting the Smog surrounding AI’. As the UEA’s School of Computing Sciences will enter into the Digital Innovation for Growth, Impact, and Transformation (DIGIT), Gerard shared how the role and importance of digital technologies have become clear to companies and government agencies. Particularly as they strive to enable collaborative working and support staff working from home, in core business processes, supply chains and services.
Trust in AI
Former NASA scientist, Peter Scott, turned the Festival’s attention to the future of AI and technology. In Peter’s engaging keynote session, entitled ‘Moving our AI relationship from “It’s Complicated” to “Engaged”, Peter comments on the importance of developing trust in AI: “This can principally be achieved through industry forging a partnership with people whose lives will be transformed by this amazing new technology.”
As AI is being used increasingly across the value chain with increasing gains, PwC’s Maria Luciana Axente, who is Responsible AI and AI for Good Lead, shared her five key takeaways for taming intelligent machines:
- Understand what AI is for your business and where it is being used
- Govern its usage across the entirety of AI lifecycle
- Train and empower all of your teams
- Be prepared for when things go wrong
- Embed the right values in machines
With the ethics and bias of AI a considerable concern, Maria identified that this is a challenging task in the technological landscape and that brands should consider the key ethical principles of AI, which are: accountability, beneficial AI, data privacy, fairness, human agency, interpretability, lawfulness and compliance, reliability, robustness and security, and safety.
The Future of AI
Speaking on the array of groundbreaking technologies available, Peter Brady, CEO, Orbital Global and VirtTuri, shares: “For the first time in human history, we could soon have a technology at our disposal for solving any problem we choose. Whether that be finding cures for cancers, identifying solutions to climate change, or even unravelling the mysteries of the universe.”
“However, this is all tempered by the ethical challenges posed by this technology and ultimately, whether there is a danger that one day we will truly lose our ability to control its use,” Peter Brady adds.
By 2030, the financial impact of AI on the global economy is expected to reach $15.7 trillion, PwC reveals.
However, “the biggest risk we have right now is the continued hyperisation of AI where it is being misused and businesses not seeing the results they are hoping for”, explains PwC’s Maria.
To follow and succeed in achieving the technological leaps forward and for AI to realise its potential of becoming the defining technology of the 21st century, “it will need to be a carefully calibrated process of balancing the immense fruits of advancement on offer with the unintended consequences”, concludes Peter.
Get the Latest on AI
Don’t worry if you missed our inaugural AI Festival. Head over to YouTube to catch up on the fascinating insights on this advancing and defining technology.
AI insights and developments are ongoing and rapidly-evolving, so that’s why we’re continuing the conversation over at LinkedIn. Join our official LinkedIn Group to join the discussion.q