This is Boundless. Insights and Observations Week 30 with your host Richard Foster-Fletcher
This week was about mostly about synching up with MKAI – the Milton Keynes Artificial Intelligence hub as we explored themes around ethical use of data and corporate mindset on responsible AI.
I didn’t think these interviews would change my mind about data, but there was some moments that made me stop and question my views. More on that in just a moment.
Before that I interviewed Dr Vijak Hadaddi. I really enjoyed the chat with him, he’s got a special energy about him. I will be following his work. The things I remember from our chat; I felt that he was saying we’ve got to stop calling this industry 4.0, it’s not another step in industry. It’s a revolution. A seismic shift in the business, economics and societies. Vijak is another person telling me we are coming to the end of a cycle. Ade McCormack also says this, as does Daniel Araya.
We’re still waiting to learn on this show exactly what work checkout assistants and truck drivers are meant to be transitioning to. Vijak says unless we figure this out, we may lose a whole generation of workers.
Vijak also talked about Europe, since we don’t have a massive AI company here. The US has Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Apple, Nvidia, Alphabet, these companies dominate AI innovation across the Western world and represent the most powerful lobby for AI regulation within the world’s liberal democracies. By comparison, AI innovation and regulation in the East, specifically China, is dominated by Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba. Europe does not have a major technology player and Vijak says this may give Europe has a chance to do something differently and try to turn this defeat into a virtue. Europe can decentralise data and create platforms where everybody will share their data together and this could lead to some very progressive ‘next level’ type of models that could become viable alternatives for the rest of the world. That said, none of the US or Chinese companies that I reference started out as AI companies. Maybe BP can become a trillion-dollar Greentech company?
Coming back to the MKAI synch ups, we talked about the role of the DPO and the CDO and whether either could fully succeed in any organisation that doesn’t have a data champion on the main board. We reflected on what lessons data leaders could take from their colleagues in cybersecurity, ways of convincing senior business leaders that protecting data and using it ethically offer strategic advantage and business growth.
One thing that Ashley Mason talked about how the health industry is geared up to keep 80% of people healthy 80% of the time. Getting to 90% carries exponential cost
Always been unknowns in the long tail of the data. We can idealise to have explainable, ethical AI from ideation to implementation, but we also have real-world problems to solve and if it takes years to refine models to a level that is completely acceptable, we may lose years of benefits. Perhaps this is akin to how we are pushing ahead with Covid-19 vaccine trials, necessity is the mother of all inventions, not just for innovation, but for flexing regulation and legalisation where needed for the greater good.
But what is the greater good? What is good? What is AI for good? We still can’t agree.
But it doesn’t stop us trying to do our best.
I’ll leave you with the insightful words of David W Orr “The planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind.”
Hope you enjoyed this week’s episodes. Thanks to my amazing guests. Have a fantastic weekend and we’ll be back next week to learn more about how we can design a digital future that is inclusive, sustainable and equitable.
Stay positive. Stay well.
Thanks to
Peter Fleming, Head of Strategic Consulting, Aiimi
Dr. Richard Benjamins, Chief AI & Data Strategist, Telefonica.
Professor Christoph Lütge, Director of the TUM Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence
Ashley Mason, Data Scientist at Data Reply UK.
Adi Manjunath, AI & Innovation Consultant at Data Reply UK,
Joaquin López Herraiz, Associate Professor at UCM
Dr. Vijak Haddadi, Visioneer & Advisor:

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