Artificial intelligence: an existential threat to humanity? (29 September 2015)

Artificial intelligence – is it an existential threat to humanity? Is it all hype? Or is it the shape of things to come?

Artificial Intelligence is currently a hot topic. In the past year or so it has been the subject of a number of films, and has received substantial industrial investment.

At the same time, a number of prominent thinkers have issued grave warnings of its existential threat to humanity. Is artificial intelligence all hype? Or is it really a transformative technology? And should we be afraid?

In this talk Prof Shanahan will go beyond the media soundbites and discuss some of the real technological and philosophical challenges of AI.

Prof Murray Shanahan

Murray Shanahan is Professor of Cognitive Robotics in the Dept. of Computing at Imperial College London, where he heads the Neurodynamics Group.

He gained his PhD in computer science from Cambridge University (King’s College) in 1988. He took up a lectureship at Imperial College in 1998, where he became full professor in 2006.

His publications span artificial intelligence, robotics, logic, dynamical systems, computational neuroscience, and philosophy of mind. His work up to 2000 was in the tradition of classical, symbolic AI, but since then has concerned brain-inspired cognitive architectures, neurodynamics, and consciousness.

He was scientific advisor to the film ‘Ex Machina’, which was partly inspired by his book “Embodiment and the Inner Life” (OUP, 2010).

His new book “The Technological Singularity” (2015) is published by MIT Press.