The Artificial Intelligence Revolution with Professor Jim Al-Khalili

  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Physicist, author and broadcaster Professor Jim Al-Khalili gave a thought provoking public lecture at the University of Roehampton to discuss the Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution, and the hopes, threats and opportunities this is bringing to all aspects of our lives.

Image - The Artificial Intelligence Revolution with Professor Jim Al-Khalili

We’ve now had the internet for 30 years. So great has been the impact and transformation of the World Wide Web, we can hardly remember a time without it. Professor Al-Khalili believes that AI and the “fourth industrial revolution” will very likely have an even greater effect on our lives and society.

At the event, he disused the potential transformations AI will have on our world, including smart cities and personalised medicine. However, he argued it is the responsibility of all of us to understand this growing technology. We need to make it part of our discourse to ensure government and the public sector engage with AI, to regulate the way data is gathered and protect our right to privacy, or we risk its power being controlled by private organisations.

As well as engaging with AI to ensure transparency and ethical practice, Professor Al-Khalili stated we now need to look forward and see the opportunities in job market growth that AI holds. In the same way many of us have jobs that exist or are significantly easier because of computers, AI holds the potential to transform the job market and enhance our careers. He argues that ethical AI design needs to become part of the curriculum to prepare children for working with AI. In addition, re-education and re-training in new AI technologies needs to become part of the government’s agenda, to allow professionals to enter this growing job market.

Professor Jim Al-Khalili was invited by university staff and students from our cross-departmental AI working group, created to raise awareness amongst students of a world where AI will be wide and present in their careers. In response to the growing importance of AI, the University of Roehampton will be launching a university-wide course in AI awareness, allowing all students to leave Roehampton with a certificate in AI awareness, to help them navigate the job market in the future.