Deborah Morgan, a researcher at the Alan Turing Institute within the AI for Public Services Team, spoke to us on Tuesday 12th September about Artificial Intelligence. This broad scope was broken down to initially explore the history of the field spanning the development of the term beginning with Alan Turing; the Dartmouth conference in the 1950s which coined the term; through AI ‘winters’ and the current rapid developments and breakthroughs in the field. She then moved on to define AI, machine learning and explained the categories of narrow and broad AI, and AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) to us.
She then explored a range of distinct types and use cases of the technology using three categories: perception, prediction, and generation. This span of uses in different domains really highlighted the idea of AI as a significant general-purpose technology with many applications. She concluded the talk with discussion of the need for responsible AI and the challenges the technology could pose.
The range of questions asked, and subsequent further discussion, was commented on by Deborah as being of very high quality and as capturing many of the current live issues in the field. Questions and discussion included the uses of AI in Education; unsupervised machine learning; bias; the use of AI in Healthcare; the environmental impacts; and the risks of embedding past conceptions of the world through prior data.