Robotics and Artificial Intelligence are becoming an ever-increasing part of our lives.
From the smart speaker in your home to operating theatres in hospitals, AI technology is also rapidly developing in the cars we drive.
But how should we, as humans, feel about the rise of artificial intelligence? Is it dangerous? Could it pose a threat? Who can forget Sophia, the AI robot which infamously said it would “destroy humans?”
Or should we alternatively see artificial intelligence as a huge economic and technological opportunity?
Prof. John Murray, a Professor in Robotics and Autonomous Systems at the University of Hull, has explored that very subject with pupils across Yorkshire & the Humber.
In a webinar presented by the Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology (YHIoT), Prof. Murray discussed with pupils the rise of artificial intelligence, the ethical dilemmas which accompany it, and how “robots” could shape our future.
Professor Murray, the University of Hull lead for the YHIoT, said: “I was delighted to kick off the Institute’s virtual Tech Seminars series.
“Robotics, artificial intelligence, data and agricultural technology are at the heart of the new YHIoT.
“Demand for expertise in this area is growing all the time. However, the ethical issues involved are often overlooked as people focus on the technology.
“With rapid technological advances in robotics and AI, it’s important that students are aware of the ethical issues so they are better equipped to design and manage technology that works in harmony with the people it’s built to serve.”
During the webinar, Prof. Murray asked pupils and other viewers whether they considered artificial intelligence technology to be dangerous.
Of those who voted, 38 per cent said yes, 6 per cent said no, with 56 per cent stating they thought AI could be dangerous, but only if in the wrong hands.
Prof. Murray went on to discuss how AI technology is commonly used – from smart speakers and home devices from companies such as Amazon and Google, to improving cancer diagnosis and detection rates in hospitals.
Increasingly, AI technology is also playing a leading role in combating the effects of climate change.
Prof. Murray said Ark – a £15m National Flood Resilience Centre planned for the Humber region, led by the University of Hull and Yorkshire Water – would incorporate AI technology through flood modelling and data interpretation.