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Week In Tech: Big week for AI as the #LordsAIreport is published

By David Cohen on 20th April 2018

Artificial intelligence has dominated the tech landscape this week, with the Lords releasing a report on how the technology should be introduced into the fabric of both work and social life. Responses were mixed…

The Register led with the potential moral panic that the technology may create if the ethics behind the technology aren’t stringently upheld. The Lords also made the point that a moral panic may be created even if the benefits of AI are overwhelmingly good, preventing the technology from taking root, comparing the doomsday scenarios presented by Elon Musk and the late Stephen Hawking as similar to the campaign against GM crops.

In addition to a moral panic, the creation of a data monopoly controlled by global tech behemoths was also highlighted as a risk. Wired said the Lords needs to “get a grip” on the data grab that algorithmic bias is currently making possible.

But it wasn’t all negative. The UK was described as being in a unique position to shape the future of AI in a positive fashion. The Committee chairman said the UK could “lead the international community in AI’s ethical development, rather than passively accept its consequences”. 

The AI media obsession continued in the Evening Standard as it announced a new series of articles reporting on London becoming a hub for the technology. George Osborne’s ex-economic advisor (some nice who-you-know commissioning there) wrote the introductory spread on the topic, highlighting the leaders in its field in the capital as well as debunking and clarifying areas of misconception.

Lastly, The Royal Society gets in on the act with two events covering off both AI’s past and possible futures, as well as its more day-to-day applications. The former features Deep Mind’s founder and CEO Demis Hassabis, and the latter Marcus Du Sautoy, mathematician, author and science communicator.

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