Review: Tabitha Goldstaub on Future Technologies

We were thrilled to have Tabitha Goldstaub with us for an hour of presentation and questions. Tabitha is the chair of the UK government’s AI council and co-founder of Cognition X – a platform that enables thousands of thought leaders to host their own public or private live video sessions and build interactive meaningful conversations with their audience.

She is a serial entrepreneur and was also the co-founder of a video distribution company Rightster (IPO 2011) and, more recently, the author of ‘How to talk to robots – a girl’s guide to a world dominated by AI’.

Tabitha doesn’t describe herself as a technologist but rather as someone who has a role in humanising the business of artificial intelligence and she first gave us a rundown of AI as it is today with many examples, much of it accepted and unseen in a broad sense.  She termed this AI as narrow AI, very much in contrast with general AI which she felt was still many decades away and possibly never. The horror story of AI in total control of society isn’t going to be a reality any time soon!

In answer to some excellent questions from the audience, she made clear that we all have a role to play in shaping the future of AI and that society needs to catch up with appropriate regulation in order to resolve perceived issues, as is always the nature of things during periods of rapid (technological) development.  The use of AI is like the use of any other analysis tool and it is up to people to use the ‘answers’ to inform decisions.  In this way the perceived ‘threats’ need not be seen as issues but rather as changes and thereby enable adaptation to happen.

It was particularly clear that a better AI will come from better data and that we must be careful that the learning data for any particular AI application must accurately represent the diversity of people and steps should be taken to ensure that gender, race or any other bias is avoided.

Gary Shearn
Head of Computer Science

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