An AI futures conference…

I recently attended and enjoyed the Edinburgh University Futures Initiative panel discussion on AI.

Th BBC story linked to below was based on a similar, albeit richer, discussion. It has the US Secretary responsible for Technological development add almost nothing. The illustrious Amy Webb carries some weight in this sphere and states that an optimistic outcome – in terms of data privacy, transparency and integrity – has a 20% chance of probability.

We all know that is a very optimistic figure – the likelihood is 0 (zero).

The US business world, Russia, China and (for reasons I shall mention) the UK have done everything in their power to remove people from the loop in order that profit can be the only priority.

The only powerful regulatory body even discussing the impact on people’s lives globally is the European Union. In the Edinburgh University panel section the Chinese delegate caused a pause when pointing out China would love to see the EU approach be adopted globally – but it won’t.

In a quite shocking moment of reality the same panelist highlighted that in a UK University based panel of people from principal government advisors to board members of the major Silicon Valley companies to the Chair – not one person was a UK representative. The view in the US and China was that the UK is only of interest from a financial clearing point of view. It has token departments which the UK clings to – Cambridge and Milton Keynes oft-cited as centres of excellence. They get scarcely discernible, residual sums of cash and employ fewer than the number of seasonal staff in a single Chinese or Korean assembly factory. But the UK was central in undermining the EU.

In the parlors of the UK intelligent people have long discussions about the great potential of the UK. It’s history of survival and innovation. Except we now only excel in Artisan areas. The major industries – no longer. Only the financial is of global impact and does anyone truly believe that UK Politicians really exercise true authority in a globalised flat earth?

The 20% cited here as an optimistic outcome is simply trying to be upbeat. Not a chance.

The real pain of genuine recession and the likelihood of majority unemployment is not too far away. Ironically, two of the areas which AI models agreed would lose their status and income were Lawyers and Academics! They will be able to keep busy talking about how unfair it all is in lofty tones. Politicians, the models decreed, were required to keep the human sphere happy. The horror! And while we often cite the creative arts as vulnerable – those were considered particularly valuable to humanity and creativity in the models.

Was this disinformation on their part? Who can tell. You have to laugh! They learn a lot faster than we ever did.