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Standing on the Edge of Error – STIAS Public lecture by Nigel Shadbolt

STIAS Public Lectures Series

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Register here by 26 February 2024

STIAS Donald Gordon Fellow Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Principal of Jesus College Oxford and a Professor of Computing Science at the University of Oxford will present a public lecture with the title:

Standing on the Edge of Error: Science in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

This lecture will reflect on what makes the scientific method so powerful, how it has transformed our world, and how it has been informed, enriched, and made possible by accomplishments in engineering. The lecture will discuss the most recent manifestation of this marriage of science and engineering –the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It will review the various roles AI is playing in science and how it is augmenting the scientific process. It will discuss the need to apply our science to understand the properties and impact of new emerging AI systems. The lecture will consider how AI can generate spurious as well as accurate output, how it has the potential to be weaponised to undermine science, but also how it can be used to confront disinformation. We will review the crucial role that high quality data plays in AI, and how we can use AI to generate new insights from data. We will look at its potential use in Urban Renewal Projects such as the Adam Tas Corridor. The talk will argue that current discussions around the ethics, regulation and governance of AI must involve a plurality of perspectives if we are to realise the full potential of AI.

Bio: STIAS Donald Gordon Fellow Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt is a leading researcher in Artificial Intelligence (AI). He is Principal of Jesus College Oxford and a Professor of Computing Science at the University of Oxford. He is chairman of the Open Data Institute which he co-founded with Sir Tim Berners-Lee. In 2009 he was appointed Information Advisor by the UK Prime Minister and, working with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, led the development of the highly acclaimed website. In 2010, he joined the UK government’s Public Sector Transparency Board –overseeing Open Data releases across the public sector. He was knighted in 2013 for ‘services to science and engineering’.
Sir Nigel has been working in AI for over four decades, having obtained his PhD from the University of Edinburgh’s Department of Artificial Intelligence in 1984. His first tenured faculty position was in the Department of Psychology at the University of Nottingham where he established and led a vibrant AI group. He moved to Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science in 2000. At Southampton he researched the next generation of the World Wide Web and was the first Head of the Web and Internet Science Group. At Oxford he has focused his research on human centred AI in a wide range of applications. Most recently he was asked to lead the setting up of the Oxford Institute of Ethics in AI.
With over 500 publications, he has researched and published on topics ranging from cognitive psychology to computational neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence to the Semantic Web. In 2018 he published The Digital Ape: how to live (in peace) with smart machines, described as a ‘landmark book’.
He is a Fellow of The Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the British Computer Society.

For more information, contact Ms Nel-Mari Loock at 021 808 2652 or [email protected]

Date and time

Thursday, 29 February 2024

16:00 – 17:30​

All times are in SAST (UTC+2)


STIAS Wallenberg Research Centre

STIAS, Marais Road, Mostertsdrift

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