Artificial Intelligence: Where will the robots lead us?

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Artificial Intelligence: Where will the robots lead us?

Most governments and enterprises see AI as a chance and as a positive challenge. But scientists like Stephen Hawking and authors like Karel Čapek, who introduced the word “robot” to the world in a play from 1920, warned against dangers coming with AI. So does much of the fiction written on the topic. Hear a discussion on robots in literature and technology between Michal Pěchouček, AI professor, Luis De Miranda, philosopher and Kristina Hård, novelist.

“Upon my soul we might have known that some day or other the Robots would be stronger than human beings, and that this was bound to happen, and we were doing all we could to bring it about as soon as possible.”

In his play "R.U.R." from 1920, Czech author Karel Capek writes about robots that are used for heavy labour but eventually becomes smarter than humans, and rise up against them. The subject is maybe more relevant than ever in our time, and is discussed during the evening, both from a literary and a societal perspective.

About the panelists:

Michal Pěchouček is an AI professor, R&D executive and serial entrepreneur. He has been active in the field of cutting edge AI since the late nineties, and founded the iconic Artificial Intelligence Center at the Czech Technical University in Prague. Michal have co-founded Cognitive Security, one of the first machine learning startups for cybersecurity, AgentFly Technologies, a drone technology firm and BlindSpot Solutions, an AI/ML high-end consultancy.

Michal has got his master degree from the University of Edinburgh and his PhD from Czech Technical University. He has been working at several leading universities, such University of Calgary or University of Southern California. In 2014 he was listed in New Europe 100 list of most innovative minds in Central and Easter Europe.

Luis De Miranda is a philosopher who was born in Portugal in 1971 and has since lived in many places over the world. His philosophical essays concerns societal issues, historical methods, technological devices, and process philosophy. He has among other things written a widely reviewed and influential cultural history of digital devices and automata.

Kristina Hård is a Swedish novelist who has written several books in the science fiction and fantasy genre. Her debut novel was the book "Alba", and since then she has written three more novels as well as books on computer science.

The discussion will be held in English and led by Patrik Schylström, librarian.