What is AI?

A brief discussion of the meaning of the term artificial intelligence.

AI for Human–Computer Interaction

Artificial intelligence and human–computer interaction are both ubiquitous in digital products and services. This video looks at some of the points of intersection. On the one hand AI can be used in HCI to help create better interfaces or help in the design process. On the other hand effective HCI is essential in the creation of many AI-rich products and also to create better tools for those developing AI systems.

AI and Social Justice

Artificial intelligence is pervasive in nearly every walk of life and is clearly delivering benefits in areas such as health, e-commerce and entertainment . However, there are also dangers, for example the Cambridge Analytica scandal or numerous examples of bias in machine learning systems. This video briefly explores the potential impact of AI on social justice both potential problems, but also opportunities for AI to do good.

Designing User Interactions with AI: Servant, Master or Symbiosis

Talk at The AI Summit London, 22nd Sept. 2021.

All AI ultimately affects people, in some cases deeply buried, in others interacting directly with users whether physically, such as autonomous vehicles, or virtually, such as recommender systems. In these interactions AI may be a servant, such as Alexa operating on command; or AI may be the master, such as gig-work platforms telling workers what to do. However, potentially the most productive interactions are a symbiosis, human and AI complimenting one another. Designing human-in-the-loop systems changes the requirements of both AI algorithms and user interfaces. This talk will explore some of the design principles and examples in this exciting area.

Artificial Intelligence and Social Justice: From Avoiding Harms to Positive Action

Talk at The AI Summit New York, 8th Dec. 2021.

AI and in particular large data machine learning are transforming many areas of society including healthcare, education, and finance. At their best these offer the potential to improve society, for example, finding new pharmaceuticals. However, they may also reproduce or reinforce existing divisions and inequalities as well as creating new problems. This has been evident in high-profile news items such as the case of racial discrimination in facial recognition systems used in policing. However, some of the deepest problems in unequal access to technology are still to be fully felt.

Fortunately, AI can also be used positively to address issues of social injustice, for example human-rights organisations scanning public domain images for evidence of abuse, or software using adversarial techniques to reduce bias in training data. At best some companies and institutions are addressing these issues proactively, seeking ways to ensure they prevent or detect problems before they happen, for others this may be a rear-guard action to fix problems that have already emerged.

This talk presents a high-level landscape of the ways in which AI interacts with social justice and illustrates this through examples so that we can take positive action for a fairer world.

Inclusivity and AI: opportunity or threat

Keynote at 9th International Conference on Computing and Informatics (ICOCI 2023), “Nurturing an inclusive digital society for a sustainable nation”, 13-14 September 2023, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

AI is transforming many sectors of the economy and our day-today lives. We hear of success stories including medical advances, but also worries that AI will destroy jobs or even be an existential threat to humanity. We also know that for previous waves of technology – mechanical, electronic and digital – the costs and benefits do not fall equally to everyone in society. There are clear dangers that AI will further entrench existing power and deepen the digital divide: both at an individual level and globally. For example, training foundation models, such as GPT-4, requires enormous computational power and massive data sets accessible only to the largest corporations. However, the ways in which these can be used generatively in more niche areas, offers potential for minority languages and individualised learning that was previously only accessible to the rich. Whether the threats of AI or its opportunities dominate is not simply an abstract question, but one that impacts the most disadvantaged around us, and one that, as researchers and practitioners in digital technology, we can affect. If we truly want an inclusive digital society, then we need to make it happen.