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Benefits and threats of artificial intelligence discussed in transatlantic Horizons lecture



Benefits and threats of artificial intelligence discussed in transatlantic Horizons lecture

15 November 2021

Benefits and threats of artificial intelligence discussed in transatlantic Horizons lecture

The ethics of artificial intelligence and the huge changes and challenges that lie ahead were the focus of Westminster’s latest Horizons Lecture.

Sixty Westminster pupils were joined online by their peers from Stanford Online High School in California for the session on Friday 12 November.

Westminster’s Horizons and John Locke Coordinator, Mr Stephen Bailey writes:

Pupils, teachers and instructors joined forces across the Atlantic at an exchange on the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI). We were led into our discussion and analysis by a paper from Paul Timmers (2019) on the ‘Ethics of AI and Cybersecurity’ in which he looked at the challenges related to national sovereignty and strategic autonomy.

From there we were asked to consider three prescient questions: what are the great benefits in the advancement of AI, what are the great threats, and what parameters should be used to guide our use of AI?

Our conversation moved from the more technical reflection on the nature of recursive self-improvement and the impacts of the so-called ‘singularity’, through to the use of AI in ‘wise leadership’, via a frequent refrain to consider the places of our underpinning use of technology and advancement in relationship to guiding principles such as ‘do no harm’.

In this second collaboration between Westminster School and Stanford Online High School, our 63 participants benefited from robust and fruitful sharing of international academic perspectives as we sought to carve out some greater understanding of the changes ahead of us.

The Horizons Lecture Series exists to build experiences for our pupils to access ‘the global good’ in educational practice, especially at Higher Education level. Mr Stephen Bailey, Horizons and John Locke Coordinator, is keen for the Lecture Series to open up opportunities for our pupils to see global best practice in other areas of public life.

Benefits and threats of artificial intelligence discussed in transatlantic Horizons lecture

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