Experts to debate balance of artificial and human intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts from academia and industry will describe the challenges and potential of AI in a series of free public debates organised by Victoria University of Wellington this month.

‘The AI Debates’ will focus on three different areas AI will impact over three events during Techweek2019—the nationwide technology and innovation festival being held across the country 20–26 May, 2019.

“Victoria University of Wellington is a research leader in the field of AI, and in understanding its impact and potential for New Zealand society,” says Professor Neil Dodgson, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Research at Victoria University of Wellington, who is organising the event.

“With AI becoming ubiquitous, the speakers will be considering a range of aspects and impacts on the way we live and the challenges we might face, particularly in the automation of services, education, and employment.”

The first of the debates on Tuesday 21 May will explore the impact of AI on automation, addressing such questions as: Who is better at driving a car: a human or a computer? How will automation change our cities? Will AI make your life better? What are the moral and social consequences of this new technology?

The impact of AI on education will be the focus of the second debate on Wednesday 22 May, and experts will consider a variety of issues, including whether a human or a computer should educate our children, if there is a viable future for the teaching profession, and what AI will bring to education.

The third and final debate on Thursday 23 May will look at AI and employment, debating who should decide whether you get a job: a human or a computer and how AI will change the employment landscape, among other questions.

All three debates will be held at the University’s Victoria Business School.

“This is an important national conversation that we are taking part in because we need to discuss what the future of technology and humanity might be,” says Professor Dodgson.

As part of Techweek2019, Victoria University of Wellington will also offer the public a chance to explore the latest virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies at the University’s Te Aro Campus on Monday 20 May.

‘Converging Realities’ comprises a free Demo Day and a paid event where attendees can hear from leading innovators in the augmented, virtual, and mixed reality space about the future of this technology.

The AI Debates

What: A series of free public debates on the upcoming challenges and potential of artificial intelligence. The first hour will be for speakers and Q&A from the public, followed by networking and light food in the mezzanine foyer.

When: 6–7pm, Tuesday 21 May–Thursday 23 May

Where: Rutherford House Lecture Theatre 1, 33 Bunny Street, Pipitea, Wellington.

If you would like to attend one or all of the events, please register your interest on the Techweek2019 website.

Converging Realities

What: An interactive installation running all day; and a series of talks in the evening

When: 10am–9pm (Demo Day); 6–9pm (Speaker series) Monday 20 May

Where: Te Aro Campus, 139 Vivian Street, Wellington

For more information about this event, please visit the Techweek2019 website.