AI Tech North: Time for discussion!


I recently had the pleasure of attending the first AI Tech event to take place in the North of England, something that set a powerful and thought provoking precedent or the future. As part of the Leeds Digital Festival, AI Tech North, was sold out and featured a good mixture of students, programmers and small businesses coming together to hear some of the leading experts in their field share their wealth of knowledge. Anthony Cohn, a Professor in Automated Reasoning at the University of Leeds opened up the event with a lively introduction that gave all in attendance a solid overview of the components of AI, breaking things down into five major categories; perception, language/speech recognition, planning, reasoning (inferring new facts from a basis of existing facts and coming sense) and learning. He stressed that "intelligence can be manifested in different ways" and that "the most successful parts of AI is where there has been little human interaction e.g. The point he made that stuck with me the most however was that the biggest threat to AI and its progress for the foreseeable future is that "the public overestimates the capabilities of AI", something which shows clearly the need for better awareness of exactly what AI is, away from the constraints of science fiction and fantasy.

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