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hi and welcome to the Machine ethics podcast this month I'm talking with rod
McCargow director of AI and PWC I met up with rod at PWC office in London and we
chatted about modeling unintended consequences, AI ethics audits, working
with dubious companies and intentions, what we should be teaching our children
and future careers a recipe for AI future mitigating job displacement and
other AI for good topics. If you like this podcast then check out the other
episodes at machine-ethics.net or you can contact us at [email protected]
you'll find us at Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, to support the
podcast go to patreon.com/machineethics extended interviews reviews and
more my thoughts on the episodes and AI topics and news of the month, thanks
again to Rob and hope you enjoy
Hi Rob thanks for joining me on the podcast
thank you having week could you introduce yourself and what you do
absolutely so I'm the director of artificial intelligence at PwC in the UK
so our team is basically and tasked with applying the technology across the
breadth of our organization on both internal projects but also working with
that clients across all industry sectors on solving some of their hardest
business problems as well using different forms of AI and a lot of the
other things I'm involved with also involve working with governments around
the world on the impacts on national strategy and policy and as part of our
assets on the advisory board of the All Party Parliamentary Group on on AI
amongst other appointments yes so it's been said that you're the nicest man in
AI how'd you feel about that depends who said it well it's just first I've heard
so on that point Robin to you kind of what is AI when you're talking about AI
what are you talking about more specifically well I think it depends on
the the audience that we're dealing with at the time and if we're working with
clients across different corporate functions across HR for example and
compliance maybe we don't necessarily get into a deep deepest of technological
descriptions but for me I think it's a high level to differentiate from
technology of old technology that falls into the AI domain of technologies that
can sense think act and through an iterative feedback loop learn and they
clearly sit as interesting bedfellows along more mature technologies such as
robotic process automation for example but we tried to focus across the breadth
of the main AI technologies but if I'm being candid the very first thing I do
in any of these things is state that I keep the job title to get me into the
room but the first thing I do is say they are doesn't really exist we have
this assembly of really interesting technologies on the pinnate from machine
learning and deep learning to natural language processing and generation and
other techniques that make up this AI family yeah so so the AI of
kind of science fiction doesn't exist necessarily but you've got this kind of
suite of things which go under that banner at the moment indeed yeah
great and we were talking briefly before but kind of how does PwC fit in with
this how they're talking about a I and and what they're doing in anyway I guess
as well well I think where right now is we've seen amazing breakthroughs of the
technology in in consumer use cases in use cases of fascinating utility but not
necessarily a huge amount of consequence on people's lives
so there's fantastic things being served up through iron maps or movie
recommendation engines and all sorts of ecommerce types of applications I think
where we're starting to see businesses in for example heavily regulated
industries healthcare financial services banking insurance et cetera criminal
justice starting to wrestle with this technology realizing that this has a
profound impact on their business they have to get moving on starting to
embrace and adopt but by doing so this opens up this whole cupboard of new
risks which I'm sure we'll get into over the course of the conversation today so
for us I think because we're already working with just about every
organization across the across the land it's some capacity are the auditing or
advising them in some capacity we're often on-site there is the trusted
advisor to help debunk some of the myths ology provide the right level of comfort
and confidence around the tech and allow them to get started and start moving a
pace with the innovation offered by AI so I see you a lot at
these sorts of conversations that you mentioned the kind of what happens when
you have these sort of technologies in those places in healthcare in the
justice system oh there's something like top-level I mean obviously this machine
at these forecasts and we took up a lot about this sort of things is there some
of the things which you're keen on like things that you are interested in
talking about in terms of those sorts of ethical issues yeah I mean I think be
more led by the you know the explosion in these events that I get the privilege
to go and speak at and and I think judging by the Q&A after them the two
areas that seem to elicit by some comms severable distance the most interest and
the most inquiry first of all I think is around the impact on the workforce
through automation through human machine interaction and through education skills
and future proofing of careers yeah I think that's one big category that
always creates huge amount of interest and then anything else that falls into
that AI ethics bucket is again of significant interest and and that's for
me is is a fascinating area and as we start seeing this started to scale in in
these use cases of significant consequence this brings a whole level of
interest across the breadth of different corporate functions to make sure that
people are fully conversant with the implications on their business yes II
think it's really important that those business leaders are appreciate the
technology and they might not have a low level understanding but if they're going
to apply it then they better well know what they're applying yeah this this is
now an absolute necessity rather than a nice-to-have this is a fundamental
prerequisite for a four up for a executive C suite member of a board for
example because this these specific use cases will more often not rear their
head in their departments and I think the one that I found very interesting to
look at and make sure that we're clear focused on are some of the the HR
applications you and I monitor this the press and the media quite a bit around
keeping up to date and what's happening and the ones that seem to constantly
rear their heads like social media where we first met I think are are those sort
of ones around recruitment for human performance type of monitoring systems
and as a consequence you know people like HR directors absolutely have to get
to grips with this technology and quickly yeah
or and there's some stories there of how that's been negative or like done not
necessarily really badly but like in a you know kind of good and evil sort of
way but like dubiously something that maybe we don't want to promote
thing and there's the Amazon example comes to mind about having you know
promoting men in their CV machine learning tactics and things of that and
because of past bias data than this little thing so it's really about
getting around that sort of Missy misunderstanding
maybe not the malicious use but like a stupidity in these high stakes arenas
but yeah I'm a big believer that the substantial majority of people were
configuring and deploying these systems are coming in with the best of
intentions yes with with good values more often not but and we we I think we
see where they don't always work out well they don't always leads to the best
outcomes they often can lead to amplification of bias and discrimination
for example and typically affecting vulnerable groups of they called us or
all customers it is often because that there's not been the right mixture of
people in the room to provide the right level of challenge and I think on the
one hand we very well aware that there's a substantial issue around the
homogeneity of the workforce you know it is very well noted that it's extremely
white a male which there's a lot of great corporate ishutin cluding some of
ours to try to address that imbalance but I think I'm also looking at the
Disciplinary homogeneity as well and it's absolutely critical to out there
are people in the room to give that level of challenge and and that go/no-go
power of veto and for example when wherever configuring a specific use case
in our team will always make sure we have the right subject matter experts in
the room and and even beyond that in fact I've been talking about ethics and
AI in business for quite a number of years now and I thought about it
actually take some action on this and that we've just hired our first AI
ethicist to the team months ago cool who we we know with the level of rigor we
face as a organization and scrutiny we know that we're confident that we meet
the high standards around data security and privacy around regulatory compliance
around around you know the whole issues of risk and quality
but specifically with regards to ethics that need to now think through not just
secondary but tertiary unintended consequences it's now critical that
giving people that power and freedom to explore investigates and model and
challenge I think it is something really valuable now and and that's you know
giving us that interesting new type of job they'll be talking about the jobs of
the future what we've just created you know anyone for our organization so
prove it's gonna happen yeah that's great they what's that kind
of remit is it kind of like future rising or is it more like philosophy or
people yeah this twenty word Lander in in the real life world of what's
expected yeah which is actually that's what I mean yeah London in the kind of
reality of what's happening on the ground I mean really we have the
opportunity to meet some of these for a meet the world-class academics and
philosophers and ethicists working on this and you know it's fascinating I've
learned a lot in recent years but if you sitting there in business making random
decisions to drive profit or to reduce cost or future prove the organization
there's maybe not the same man you ship of deliberation that happens and if you
think about ethics specifically with of course in this explosion of publication
of new ethical principles in the last two years in particular I think at the
last count we'd we'd come across the in excess of 70 if you add together the big
tech companies the World Economic Forum the I Triple E the baking principles it
having all these together yeah you've got a lot of material out there and we
have reality of businesses going to be able to read all of those and discern
which one is most appropriate for their particular geography and setting yeah
and and acts accordingly and so what we what we have is we actually have read
all these whole team on it and went in with a fine-tooth comb and built
effectively a traceability matrix so what we can now be able to say to
clients through what we call our responsible AI approved
is okay we feel that with for the right governance in place around the project
its had the right approach in terms of identification and the biasing of
datacenters prior to training we're confident that it's appropriately
scrutinized from a security and privacy perspective and for this particular use
case it's got the appropriate level of interpret ability and explain ability
now moving beyond that we can say it's got this relatively clean bill of health
with the caveat to give you the confidence to move forward now there's a
conscious decision to make as a leadership team running these projects
to say what do we optimize this solution for is it to maximize profit performance
is there a trade-off to be made that allows you to drive even
further transparency into the system and you want to then optimize for fairness
and the fairness today is fascinating I think even more fascinating than ethics
there was a piece of work enough maybe you still could share the the link so
you can share with you regionally we did a piece on this and we found that
fairness is something that's constantly raised in all of these ethical principle
documents yeah and the very high level ones are all very laudable and they stay
on ethics so AI should be benevolent it should be good for Humanity it should be
transparent it should be fair and inequitable eccentrics yeah but are you
get to fairness there's in excess of 20 mathematical definitions of fairness so
if you then just take that at all who's it fair to yeah you can't be fair
universally to every single person in society
yeah therefore do you have to define who it's fair to yes so when you get into
those sort of conversations you can really make sure that the projects are
proceeding with that level of rigor of conversation certainty buy-in and a
conscious choice around what the project is is optimized to do yeah and there are
sort of things that the our own ethicists will
the ability to shape and starless conversations for our own projects and
clients that we work with the fairness thing is really interesting I think that
comes that's part of the ethical conversation because what you know like
the morality of an individual like what is fairness to you does that actually
warrior she told me about when we say fairness is a really interesting point
if if a a company came to you and went oh this is so great but we actually
trying to optimize for you know the the outcome the the monetary return and
actually maybe the fairness is not on a high or an agenda
well the sorts of conversations do you have there yes quite difficult I mean I
think I don't think I don't think we've had them like that yet but I think it's
an interesting question to raise alphabetically as as the market becomes
more sophisticated I think there's two things there I think that there there
may well get to the point where there's certain use cases and applications that
it's simply not appropriate to go near the certain industries that might be
more difficult than others to work with but I think we also have to respect the
fact that to attract the very best talent the best talent want to be
applying their skills to the you know the the appropriate use cases and with
that in mind giving people the the right to to not have to time partake in
certain projects is something I think that's getting slightly comfortable with
yes oh and we've seen this haven't we in that last a year with how breaks of
employee activism which i think is something which your organization's need
to take into account around so what we want to be aligned with doing yeah and
it's I mean for me it's look it's laudable that people who are taking
these sorts of actions in the face of things which go against their principles
they're you know internal I spoke to one of those people not so long ago actually
who Jack Paulson I don't know yeah of young he quit Google because of the the
arm stuff and one was the one of the first people to do so and then there was
all this action afterwards so it's an interesting thing that's happening where
people starting to take notice of how these technology
applied and when it's appropriate to do so do you have any kind of like hardline
ideas of what maybe isn't appropriate or having a specific yeah they think we've
got for where it's kind of like you know a list of no go no go I mean personally
this things that I you know don't feel comfortable with morally or that's or
Thomas weapons for example those conversation coming back to that's a
good point no coming back to your conversations
that you might have in government with the AP PGA I'm do you have these little
conversations about I mean obviously the general AI conversation has been hand
there but do you have the kind of robotics conversation about where when
isn't appropriate to use these sorts of technologies at the moment with the
government you know what I think the thing that actually gives me a lot of
optimism and and professional pride working in this part of the world around
this topic is that we've got a really quite sophisticated community that's
been active now for the best part of say two-and-a-half years or so so coming
from the all party group I've been on the advisory board fastened to start
that's then led through to the you know the the publication and the and the
evidence taking of the house of all a committee with with law Clement Jones
the the AI review with within wendyhall and drone Vicente and then now on to the
AR set deal which is now led to this proliferation of new activities and the
set of data ethics innovation the government office for yeah you know
we've seen a huge array of quite tangible progress in the last two and a
half years and for me that was counted number of times have been in Parliament
you know hearing or giving evidence in excess of thirty maybe in the last a
couple of years and yeah we've absolutely covered the broad spread of
topics from regulation and you know geographical
prominence and academia skills education ethics that the whole panoply of topics
I think it has been well well looked into
and some of these more contentious ones absolutely are are there yeah so you
know in defense of politicians it's easy to guess sweep it all up and say I think
I saw a tweet yesterday saying politicians don't get this actually
reject that I think I think a number of individual ones that I've had the
privilege of working with actually got a really good grasp of this so I think
it's a nice case of lumping everyone in the same bucket here yeah nice great I
was going to ask what the outcomes were I think you've nicely kind of well I
think I think we as a not only have we seen the the launch of the the AR 60 I
was part of industrial strategy and the launch of these new bodies you know the
sense of data ethics of now you know publish their interim findings on a
couple of key areas I would advise I think in criminal justice and I think
the other thing is is how this now translates to the international picture
and some of the best practice I think that we've started to put in place here
I think he's being looked at with interest by a number of countries I get
to go and visit as well and seeing how they can learn from other UK's doing
this so yeah I think in terms outcomes in terms of international influence it I
think it's been pretty well received yeah Matic Euler area so it's kind of a
leadership role there that people are taking out of will it be something that
if we put in together regulation in that way that people also
take note of that well possibly and then taking it out of the AI out of the
equation our legislative system and the legal profession is looked at by many
parts of the world as as exemplar and many disputes are settled here for
example so if we can map that across to AI then yes it's a good chance that must
become one of the international benchmarks that people will try to ape
the underworld awesome you did a TED talk a few years ago no
two years ago no that's probably approaching two years here are phobia
yeah and in that talk you you talked about your children and then that's very
high on the agenda of the talk it's and that's how you tell the story of
what a I should be doing in a positive way and you kind of glossed over this
question but what is it that we should be teaching our children you know going
forward in this for the future yeah I'm conscience fire I didn't know
dispensed this specific times that I see the ends of fire I guess we only have
like 70 or 18 minutes to shoehorn it all in and the time flew on that talk
actually but um I think about it's a huge amount and I think the the thing
I'm settling honest what you might kids now grow up and that the nine and eight
and and three now it is there's so many of these reports we see dropping on an
often weekly monthly basis you know there's gonna be explosion in the growth
of both flows of growth in the need for phaser scientists or engineers get more
people coding and programming you know gonna see exponential growth in this for
a while yet so although forget all that we need to now focus on the liberal arts
and soft skills and getting people focused on cognitive flexibility and
emotional intelligence because the machines can't ape that and yeah you
know that there's this there's plenty of arguments on both sides of the equation
I think what I'm increasingly getting to the point of is just ensuring that they
have an absolute joy of learning full stop whatever it is to a certain extent
it doesn't matter I think maybe there are some core skills that are always
useful and whether it's literacy and numeracy of course that debate mark or
but but that the whole point of this is that the the formats and the assembly of
careers in the future is going to radically change we we have done some
research around that which you can talk about but whether it's some get a extra
sense of jobs that change or you know it's a white person I think we can be
certain it's people's career paths are going to look very different and one of
the key requirements is not just education but this whole concept of
learning how to learn and you're only going to want to constant continue to
learn how to learn if you love learning yeah and been able to very comfortably
pivot and adapt and change course at the drop of a hat
I think it's just going to be par for the course for the workforce in the
future so just an extent I'm not being prescriptive by trying to force
them down a path that I'm just trying to invigorate and and celebrate you know
anything that they seem to thrive off a particular month and not trying to sort
of force them down a certain path because I think anyone that gives a very
firm forecast about what's going to be in high demand in 10 20 15 years time
well yeah I think they're smarter people than me
right okay come on just we'll do a bet on it and just well I mean the first
throwaway line up I uses is simply that we know that AI and and some of these
techniques they do struggle with British sarcasm aha so nice people that can help
and anyone leave they know there's another study I think but another
organization I think looked at this that sort of AI explainer role I had to embed
an in view technology with common sense and a real-world interpretation yeah so
it gets it anything that falls down when you're faced with the kind of like hard
English flat comedy yeah exactly right yeah great
so we're okay for now I think so yeah I've got way to go yeah so you talked
briefly about the workforce and and that's sort of thing in this
conversation we're having about maybe how that's going to change in the future
given you know the educational piece is there is there like a stark headline but
you see though is it just kind of like you know over the last couple of ten
tens of years there's jobs that never been known before like Kim I used to be
a web designer that wasn't a thing you know 30 years ago and data science
wasn't a thing more than ten years ago so we get these new jobs or new labels
maybe found jobs and is is there some new jobs that are going to come in and
everything's gonna be fine or is this gonna be this kind of precipice maybe
that and that's normally the news angle they
gamings head of the attention yeah I mean I'll follow the slap headlines and
then walk back a bit against the nuance which the headlines never cater for okay
so so the headlines I think if you look at the the the the most stark headlines
around this probably the most influential report around this was the
the guy at the frailes born guys at Oxford University who posited that 47%
of jobs could be disrupted and removed by the work from the workforce in their
2035 time horizon the OECD zone figures suggest it could be a lot lower it's a
14% now that the PWC analysis we launched last year suggests we split the
difference a bit and think it's about 30% of the existing jobs yeah now
there's so many caveats to this of course first of all significant variance
across gender sector educational attainment geography to start with then
you're looking at the the other side of the equation which is around what AI we
believe does in terms of driving the economy so another study we launched
which was incorporated into the the government's industrial strategy was
looking at the economic impact of AI so we did a global study and break that
down by the UK which suggests that AI through first of all driving
productivity growth but also through driving down the costs of goods and
services and hyper personalising those services cease this consumption boost as
well so the headline figure there was so we felt that my 20 30 a I could add an
additional fifteen point seven trillion u.s. dollars to the world economy in
that time frame in the UK we think adds about 10 percent of GDP by 2030 so if
you have this fairly substantial economic boost as well
that means through we think that as it drives down the cost of goods and
services it also drives up labor demand so whilst you see certain roles
disassembling and reallocating together with a new collection of different tasks
and then through bias economic growth this new category of job potentially
starts coming through so we think that if that happened
and you see profound adaptations to the education system and you see employers
for example and different institutions hardwiring this lifelong learning
approach into inter people throughout their career not just at the start of
their educational cycle we think we could mitigate and in fact neutralize
job displacement with job creation there's many people that poopoo that
they think that it's going to be much more pakka lipstick than that or it's
not going to happen it'll be the same as previous revolutions but there's so many
caveats in that and there's not much time on our side to start making those
generational changes so so if rule this code like this possibility of moderate
optimism about this at the same time as potentially the improving work removing
gradually removing risk and danger from jobs the reassembly of highly cognitive
tasks and and just making work good for larger numbers of people hey this can be
debated all day long I think where we get to also is this other interesting
debate around the shape of jobs in the future about where they're housed in the
economy and something that we we had some fun doing last year was creating
what we felt work four distinct worlds of work and thought what a quiz I'm
going to share with you guys as well you know could you see corporates growing in
strength so they have effectively bigger GDP than many smaller mid-sized
countries do you see you know this massive disaggregation of corporates
into a platform economy where the entire employee basis is on a contingent
workforce basis zero hour contracts effectively do you see companies pushing
much more into societal good and focused on purpose and environmental
contribution so so you know did you see these different directions of travel and
the way that people therefore engaged changes from simply that the
nine-to-five permanent job contract forever a day
and it resourced the entire workforce economy on the back of that so huge
topics up for debate around this and and the people that attempt to be too
precise but a fine a point on it I think sometimes don't always listen to the the
prevailing disagreements on the other side of the fence and I simply say I
think increasingly every time I've decided to become far less specific with
my future gazing and simply boil it down to substantial substantial change is
going to come it might not happen next year but a change will come because big
change has always come at the back of industrial evolutions and we have a
conscious decision about how we protect people in that process and and that is
both the responsibility of governments of employers and to an extent
individuals as well to be prepared they're not skilled and aware of this
seismic shift that's likely to happen in the next 5 10 15 years or so yeah so it
could be quite a nice seamless transition or it could be this kind of
big coming together of being a big problem
and it seems like you kind of have a good idea of how we can to get some of
those things that you've looked at as being possible problems with a new
saying the upskilling and life learning and the work there companies having more
very kind of societal view and the government's doing some more in the
education side of things so it's it's almost like you've got that you feel
like you have the answer there well I mean I I've got I've got I've got an
opinion that means that they get boxed into a corner too much and someone's
gonna come take me to task in 15 years time but you know I'm on you know I know
many people on different sides of the of this fence I'm carefully struggling and
then if you've had for example Callum chase on the on the podcast you know
he's yeah his view on this of course is a little different in terms of the
possibility of significant technological and employability this very interesting
developments happening with the u.s. presidential race at the moment with
andrew yang the Democratic candidate is running on a basis of the universal
basic income freedom dividend I think he calls it in his son and in his campaign
messaging so that's interesting to see how that might come through and I think
that he's a lot more work and research around how do we ensure that the the
fruits of this technological revolution are are shared equitably across the
broadest cross-section of society yeah I mean there's there's a response I have
which is a personal response to that which is the the disassembling of
capitalism right there's is that there is you you alluded to it earlier that
there are companies that will have more you know turnover than a small country
and so in the face of that and let's let's say that I think that's a problem
and not everyone will grieve me there but is there a sense that maybe we
should do something about the infrastructure of how we run our society
is the the the commerce set that bit I think I think changes is absolutely
necessary how that comes about and to what is that it's the exam question here
so there's there's a great guy here if you've not spoken to you know on the
podcast well I John havens who is the executive director of the I Tripoli's AI
ethics initiative spoken to John John is great and so and I'm on the industry
committee of that has been a great sir coming together of people across the
world to put those principles in place and he's very much focused on this whole
beyond GDP initiative for that's been the the stock measure of human progress
or for many a generation now and appears to be ill suited to where this now goes
how do we ensure that we have the right measures in place going forward that
measure what he describes beautifully is human flourishing and well-being and all
those best indicators rather than purely the block of economic growth by my
country yes and there are a number of measures I think that
investigation but it doesn't require entire rewiring and the focus upon
corporate purpose and I see some interesting early signs there there's
been some some really meaningful progress towards the interpretation and
grasp of corporate responsibility embedding of purpose societal impact of
corporate behavior very admirable efforts by for example at Paul Polman
the outgoing CEO of Unilever around this topic and many much of this I think
actually is driven by employees demands i think the generation coming into the
workforce now want to feel that the lofty values espoused by companies
genuinely are embedded and there's tangible action being taken towards that
and you know for example we're very very much focused upon their carbon
neutrality and and you know circular economy behavior of our organizations
around the world but that's not certainly expect that to take place now
so the signs but this is such a rapid technological shift isn't it it could
come at is quite fast so yeah there is a need to focus minds on this and I think
this for me this is why I mean a great hopefully your podcast reaches are quite
broad cross-section of an audience and for me the opportunity to get this
conversation out of the technology community all these kind of niche
narrowly focused fora in to a mainstream conversation that is not just about
frightening people with pictures of terminator you know front pages
newspapers constantly it's like a drinking game you know every time you
see a terminator or something like that in the news is absolutely right yeah
yeah would you like to talk about anything
else specifically yeah yeah this one area I think I'm quite excited about so
for the that for the past three years we've been the the founding a corporate
partner of what's been called the AI for good global summit just been based at
the UN in Geneva and really the unity to start looking at how aie can be
harnessed to help us accelerate progress towards achieving these sustainability
goals is absolutely now a hot area we'll see some great applications there in
terms of climate change with the number of reports on that happy to share some
of our work on that so marrying up this technology is stove
Grand Challenges I think's massive exciting empowers the staff it really
wins hearts and minds over and we think can meet some tangible progress to move
this with a dial on this as well so yeah the ARP good gender is really exciting
for me I mean I think overall I'm much more excited about the the use cases
that they put a requirement of explaining they're not ones that jump
out on the headline but the ones that when you sit down and work through step
by step and demonstrate the value they add aa third monthly valuable you know
we're doing a lot of work around workforce well-being making sure the
right people are doing the right jobs at the right time that suits their
interests it means that their travels reduced and a carbon footprint needs
increased but they're not stories that jump off the front page of the other top
tech publications explained a lot a lot of explaining for quite some time so
yeah the ones that I think are solving proper hard business problems and
leading to tangible benefits and another SCYTL good yeah the ones that get me out
bed in the morning nice and and those are sorts of things that you can
communicate you know in your in your work as well to hopefully if we keep
communicating the good side of things that that more good will come back and I
think it inspires the next generation of people to want to come into this
profession it's red hot is you know we're hiring people hand over fist we've
just taken on in the UK 110 school leavers who were fully funding through
university to build our AI workforce in the future so hopefully four years time
I'll come out with no debt work experience and some terrific skills to
get straight stuck into some of these interesting projects and and you know
how we how we sort of demonstrate what they could put their skills towards I
think you a really important selling point for
business yeah great where were you 10 and a bit years ago it was I 14 years
ago 50 yeah 15 year where are you 15 15 days Oh God
yeah very long circuitous career path to end up here actually oh yeah I mean now
you see with that sort of you know offer you know taking taking you know when I
went for university oh around odd a bit the hand off if you could you know put
me through university yeah you know fully funded with no doubt the end of
its and work experience job offer great in the hottest area in the job market
mister it's a no-brainer you did you did microbiology right yeah yes this testing
the brain sounds interesting though he goes more looking at the the most
horrific of profitable medical diseases madly so that was quite interesting but
tipping you've could I mean that's fair lights but scientific so you must have
led to you know possibly I mean standing that maybe yeah but I think having had a
create much more focused on like that the people agenda and that's swayed me
more towards that than the technology very candid yeah and so we're getting
towards the end there's a question I always ask at the end the podcast which
is probably somewhat already answered through our conversation but it's what
excites you about AI and future and what is it something that scares you about
that well this mr. Lester this shoot down
this said that the fear one first of all shall we I don't think AI scares me what
I think is really important that we get our act together with at the moment is
the appreciation that yes there's some remarkably complicated long-range issues
that some of the greatest minds are wrestling with with regards to
existential risk the implications of artificial general intelligence and the
singularity and AI safety in maintaining you know the issue and runaway
intelligence fascinating stuff I love reading about
with regards to how that matters to life today in business in society right now
I think its wealth services hot that funding it can continue on but for me
it's much more important to appreciate and demonstrate and illustrate people at
you know in the society at large this is here it's already having profound
impacts on people's lives whether it's a democracy or in their choices as
consumers and citizens or in criminal justice or health care it's here it's
happening it's making a profound impact today and therefore everyone has to now
have start being brought up to speed about this participating in shaping how
this is being evolved how its governed the standards around it and most
importantly is providing access to the most diverse array of people possible to
create AI that's fit for purpose to everybody in a positive way so there's a
little bit of kind of like NIM enough to separate out the strands here of the
longer range fascinating stuff with today and next year and getting me
interact together around that now so so so it a part of that is is dispelling
the fear and giving people positive confidence that this tech is wonderful
if it's scrutinized and governed and trained and inspected and harnessed the
right way it can solve amazingly positive things and just to finish on
that positive note one of the things that personally keeps me engaged in this
is the source of problems is now able to start solving so several years ago I I
lost my very inspirational mother to one of the worst diseases possible which is
motor neurone disease the terminal debilitating illness which is absolutely
horrendous and the chink of light in this is that already this british-based
AI accompany for Neverland a I'm I've heard of them again remember Mariners
shields you might recall Cena speaking that they've already started making
progress with their machine learning to start you know ingesting clinical
studies at scale using that to identify potential new
novel treatment regimens and compounds so in club discovery is really
interesting around this field they can accelerate drug research you know
significantly Swift a factor than the standard human research can do so all
menteng the experts in that field to start solving really important problems
that improve our lot in life and and rare diseases is one particular
intractable problem that the system doesn't yet economically sustain and
support the research into so yes for me it's less about how do we use this to
sell more advertising and how do we harness it and hook it up and start
applying it to the most important problems facing us is society at large
yeah and we should be pointing ourselves in that direction nothing so yeah well
Rob thank you it's fascinating at all control of your time today it's been a
pleasure thanks left me off hi and welcome to the end of the podcast things
get too rough for finding time for me in a schedule
I think he's often out of the country so he had to slap me in two months in
advance I think it was I think there's lots of stuff the executive kresk grew
up further on I think maybe one of the things they asked about working with
dubious companies companies that maybe are optimizing for things which are bad
intentions or things which are more capitalist maybe in their way of looking
at optimizing money over maybe social good that sort of thing I think we could
have spent more time in there and I think that we could also spend more time
on universal basic income Zoar what what future jobs might look like indeed but
these things are all kind of hard to grapple with and we only had so much
time unfortunately so so hopefully I find Rob in the future and tackle some
of these things if you'd like to hear more of my thoughts on this podcast and
some of the other news from the month in AI then go to the patreon patreon com4
slash machine ethics and thanks again for listening and please rate us
on iTunes and wherever else you get your podcasts and hopefully see you again


AI for Humans with Rob McCargow

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Lam Sze Hang 2020 年 3 月 25 日 に公開
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