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Image of Professor Roberto Cipolla talks to Dr Demis Hassabis
Professor Roberto Cipolla talks to Dr Demis Hassabis

Machine Superintelligence and Humanity: Rustat Conference report

The Rustat Conference report on Machine Superintelligence and Humanity has been published. 

Developments in the fields of Artificial Intelligence have long given notice that the products of technology have the scope to outstrip some or even many of the functions performed by human intelligence. There has been talk of a “tipping point”, where, as Professor Huw Price puts it, “intelligence escapes its biological constraints”, and beyond which the consequences may well be both unfavourable and irreversible. 

At the conference in June experts debated issues surrounding machine superintelligence and humanity, ranging from what could happen to humans and society if many jobs are taken over by machines, to who is ultimately responsible if an intelligent machine acts destructively. 

The conference brought together researchers in fields of AI, robotics and computer science with scholars working in the fields of philosophy of mind, history of ideas, political science, anthropology, psychology, literary studies, sociology of religion, and theology. Delegates included Dr Demis Hassabis, CEO and co-founder of DeepMind (Google); Dr Jaan Tallinn, co‐founder of Skype and of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk; Dr Hermann Hauser, co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners; and representatives from universities including Sussex, Goldsmiths, Oxford and Cambridge. 

Rustat Conferences are held three times a year at Jesus College, Cambridge. Focusing on a different topic each time, they offer an opportunity for decision-makers from the frontlines of politics, business, finance, the media and education to discuss vital issues with academic experts.


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