Artificial Intelligence seminar at the ETH

Swiss Risk association organized an interesting seminar on Artificial Intelligence (AI) at the ETH. Prominent speakers from IBM, 4th IR, Leading Edge Forum, Microsoft, and Google presented their views on the latest development of AI and its implications to modern society and business.

In the recent years, big unorganized datasets online, development of the AI algorithms, and new hardware have boomed the AI development. The presenters saw Artificial Intelligence (commonly rephrased as Augmented Intelligence) as the next, unavoidable, revolution in the world. The general message of the presenters was that AI can positively affect both society and business if used with caution.

Several striking applications were presented that illustrated the power of AI technologies. IBM’s healthcare adviser based on Watson enables the best possible, and up-to-date, medical advice on a global scale. Google presented an interesting application to catch illegal fishing in the Pacific sea by using ship tracking data.

In the panel discussion, several concerns raised by the AI revolution were raised and discussed. How can we guarantee privacy of individuals? How can a decision made by AI be fair and auditable? Can an AI system be manipulated to make biased decisions? Can AI be taught to have morals? The panelists underlined the importance of openness in the data gathering in order to circumvent such concerns. Partnership on AI, a collaboration between various prominent companies in the AI field, was introduced as the shared discussion forum to tackle social, moral, and economic problems raised by the AI technology.