On the mysteries of artificial intelligence – do we know what we are doing?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing our lives. However, modern AI shows remarkable, unpredictable and mysterious non-human behaviour when replacing human activity, and this is not at all understood. Professor Anders Hansen from the University of Cambridge gives a talk on the mysteries of AI.

Robot playing the piano. Photo: Frank V/Unsplash.com

Photo: Frank V/Unsplash.com

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to revolutionise our way of living. We may have self-driving cars in the future and your doctor may be replaced by AI algorithms. The latter is not science fiction anymore. Indeed, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved AI techniques for automated diagnosis without the input of a human clinician. 

Moreover, modern AI research has been likened to alchemy because of its trial and error approach and lack of foundations. Indeed, Ali Rahimi, an award winning researcher at Google, sparked an intense debate in the community when he used the alchemy analogy and criticised the current state-of-the-art AI and machine learning for its lack of fundamental scientific approach. 

We will in this talk discuss the lack of foundations in modern AI, its curious non-human behaviour and the slightly philosophical dilemmas that follow. Finally, we will try to shed some light on the basic question in the AI debate: do we know what we are doing?


 Photo: University of Cambridge 

Professor Anders Hansen is visiting the Science Studies Colloquium Series. Hansen leads the Applied Functional and Harmonic Analysis group within the Cambridge Centre for Analysis at  the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge (DAMTP), UK. He is a Reader in mathematics at DAMTP, adjunct Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oslo and a Royal Society University Research Fellow. 

He has broad research interests in mathematical analysis and numerical computing and their applications to practical problems in image processing and related areas. He is also interested in complexity theory and understanding some of the basic limitations of computing in mathematics.

Published Jan. 5, 2019 1:06 PM - Last modified May 16, 2019 2:07 PM