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Posted By Peter Bentley

On Thursday 10 December I gave an invited lecture at the Royal Institution for the event Relax, It's Only AI: How Artificial Intelligence will Improve Our Lives. I was invited by the AI company Braintree Ltd to help explain the benefits of AI to an audience of business leaders. It still amazes me how many people - who should know better - are proclaiming that AI might one day be some kind of threat to humanity. There are some extremely good reasons why AI is not going to be a threat to us - not least because for the foreseeable future (i.e. hundreds or thousands of years) our AI systems will be exactly what they have always been - nice tech that does useful things. We don't know how to make anything else, and we'd need astonishing breakthroughs in neuroscience before that changes. Even with such breakthroughs, intelligence takes a long, long time to develop, train and test. It's not happening soon, folks. Indeed, there are some very pressing issues such as climate change and human conflict that should be considered the greatest threats to human existance. (And anyone who says anything else has ulterior motives that should be examined.)

The reality is that AI is simply clever software that is helping to make our technology and lives safer - and also providing business with some very interesting new opportunities in data analytics.

RI talk 2

RI talk 1

Posted By Peter Bentley

In the evening of Thursday 10 Dec I gave a talk at the Royal Institution about Artificial Intelligence - more of that above. BBC Radio 4 heard about it and asked me to the studio for a debate. They sent a car to get me but despite the best efforts of the driver we got stuck in London traffic, so we were forced to pull over and conduct the interview via Skype on my mobile phone from the car. As a result I was perhaps not my most elequent, but I think it turned out fine. You can listen to the interview here.

today show