IOP hosts Campaign for Science and Engineering Annual Lecture

Professor Jim Al-Khalili chairs discussion on ‘Making Artificial Intelligence a Reality’


Yesterday evening (4 December) saw a lively discussion on Artificial Intelligence as the centrepiece of the Campaign for Science and Engineering’s (CaSE) 2018 Annual Lecture - in the form of a conversation between Professor Jim Al-Khalili, well-known broadcaster and Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey, Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and Professor Alan Winfield, Professor of Robot Ethics at the University of the West of England. 

Under CaSE’s theme of the role of Government in the future success of AI, the panel debated funding, political support, regulation, international cooperation, and public dialogue - and also took questions from an invited audience of around 150.

Discussions ranged across comparisons between the internet revolution over the last 30 years and the coming of AI, from neural networks and machine learning, to the risks and the ethics of AI and the balance of regulation. One recurring theme was the need to avoid more ‘AI Winters’ - periods when a lack of research funding means progress in technology and innovation stalls or stops. The panelists said that continued funding will help secure the UK’s position as a world-leader in AI research and technology.

Audience at CaSE lecture

CaSE held its premier annual event at the IOP’s purpose-built new home for physics in King’s Cross, London.

The AI subject matter for CaSE’s annual lecture also ties in with IOP’s own national theme for public engagement in 2019 - Big Data.

Paul Hardaker, IOP’s Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘Our new home is a hub for our local community, our physics community and the STEM community, so we are delighted to have hosted such a timely and important debate with CaSE’.

Watch the full event     

Read CaSE’s write-up of the discussion                    

Gallery space at 2018 CaSE lecture