Campus and Community

A conference that demystified the risks of an artificial future

Renowned experts demystified artificial intelligence and its effect on society.

The first conference promoted by Técnico and Lusa news agency entitled “Thinking machines: risks and opportunities” took place at Instituto Superior Técnico, in Salão Nobre and brought together renowned experts in this area. Fernando Pereira, Vice President and Engineering Fellow at Google, Luís Sarmento, CTO at Tonic App, André Martins, Head of Research at Unbabel, Mário Figueiredo, Scientific Area Coordinator of Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), José Santos-Victor, president of the Institute for Systems and Robotics (ISR), and Arlindo Oliveira, president of Instituto Superior Técnico shared their experiences and opinions, noting that this area is constantly changing.

The speakers were optimistic about the benefits that technology brings to our lives, pointing out the advantages and opportunities of a new level of human-machine collaboration. “What I see every day in the lab and in my office and what I really believe in are the benefits of these technological breakthroughs”, said the VP at Google. “Humanity will face a lot of risks in the future, but this does not necessarily mean that these risks are related to artificial intelligence”, he added.

Several topics were addressed during the session: possible scenarios of a peaceful human-robot cohabitation, the impacts of machine learning in financial markets, privacy issues and how artificial intelligence will impact jobs. According to professor Arlindo Oliveira the most important is “to create a mechanism to mitigate the adversities of these changes in the labour market, safeguarding the people who may lose their jobs”.