AI – a Problem or a Solution

Our meeting on Wednesday 24 April 2024 was an online meeting with a ‘virtual’ speaker on the topic of Artificial Intelligence.  The previous Saturday had seen a try out by the Club of the Kenton Road Street Market, and the team were able to provide detailed feedback of what had worked and where there were opportunities for improvement.  The Club hopes to take part in another similar event in June this year.

The Club discussed the forthcoming Kids Out event in June, and the members present decided to speed up the management process by taking a vote in favour of supporting the event before the Club Council meets the following week to discuss the project.

It was then over to our virtual speaker, Andrew Ng, a British-American computer scientist and Adjunct Professor at Stanford University in California.  He had given an address on the subject of Artificial Intelligence at a TED Talk in Autumn 2o23, and this formed the basis of the presentation.

Andrew defined Intelligence and why it is needed if we are to overcome the problems facing humanity.  Artificial Intelligence was then defined, and the method of Reinforced Learning with Human Feedback was illustrated.  The sources of information were listed, and emphasis removed for those that contain prejudice, misinformation and lies.

Andrew then looked at the effect on jobs resulting from the spread of AI.  He concluded that we should expect the same from AI as we experienced with Steam, with Electricity and with Computing.  Some jobs will go, but many new jobs will be created.  He gave an example of how this has been working with hospital radiologists.  There are risks to AI, but humanity has the potential to extract the benefits of this new technology, side-stepping the potential risks along the way.

This was a positive and careful analysis with much useful information, and was much appreciated by the members.

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