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</Recapping the IMAI’s roundtable: The Big AI Debate>

Published on 18 March 2021 by web editor


At the end of February, the Industrial Masters in Artificial Intelligence Programme (IMAI) team held the last in this current series of AI roundtable events. Each event has focused on a different theme related to AI and brought together industry panel members to give their own personal insight on the topics chosen.

There have been three online events in this series. The first was held in November 2020 and focussed on AI within the FinTech industry, the second was held in January 2021 and looked at Virtual Conversational AI and this last was called ‘The AI Big Debate’  and included two panel discussions – ‘AI: For the Many or the Few?’ and ‘Bringing AI to the Point of Care’.

Event panellists for the two debates

The panellists that joined ‘The Big AI Debate’ have a wealth of experience in data science and AI, whether that’s through their personal experience, education or professional experience.  

AI: For the Many or the Few?

The first panel, ‘AI: For the Many or the Few?’ kicked the event off. The exciting debate was moderated by Raoul-Gabriel Urma, CEO of Cambridge Spark, and he asked the panellists to share their views on AI, the progress made to date and what needs to happen to bring AI to the many, rather than the few that use it now.

Raoul-Gabriel set the scene by saying: “Clearly, we are all really excited about AI and the prospects for AI, clearly everyone believes in what AI can do for us. Now, if I take the other view, it looks like only the very powerful companies are able to deploy AI (the likes of Google and Facebook), so it does raise the question of whether this is something that stays in the remit of large companies. Perhaps AI has failed us, there is a lot of mistrust in algorithms and AI, it’s in the news, so it does raise the question is AI for the many or the few?”. 

He then posed these questions to:

  • Guy Gadney – CEO, CHARISMA.AI
  • Monica Chadha – member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (APPG AI)
  • Jon McLoone – Director of Technical Services, Communication and Strategy at Wolfram
  • Daniel Clarke – Head of Applied Sciences at Adarga
  • Mark Bishop – Professor Cognitive Computing (Emeritus) at Goldsmiths, University of London

The discussion covered a range of topics and perspectives, from why AI should matter to a broad range of people, through the benefits and limitations of AI, to the skills people will need to work with AI and harness its power. To listen to the panel’s response and their full thoughts on all the topics presented in this roundtable, please listen to ‘AI: for the Many or the Few?’ here.

Bringing AI to the Point of Care

The second panel, ‘Bringing AI to the Point of Care’, gave a thought provoking look at AI in healthcare. Topics explored include the role of AI in death, people’s willingness to share data, the impact of Covid-19 on collaboration within healthcare, and how this has helped accelerate data storage to improve many areas (e.g., PPE, oxygen supply etc). The panellists contributing to this discussion were:

  • Margaret Doherty, Director of the Centre for the Art of Dying Well
  • Rob Brisk, Healthcare Alliance Manager. Nvidia
  • Sarah Culkin, Head of Analytics, NHSX
  • Jon Pitts, iHP Analytics Ltd and PwC Human Data Analytics Lead

You can listen to the full discussion on ‘AI at the Point of Care’ here.

Learn more about IMAI and future events

This series of roundtable events have raised many questions of AI and shows that demand for AI skills in industry continues to grow. Through the IMAI programme we’re supporting companies with specific AI requirements to partner them with higher education institutes that can benefit their work.

Find out more about the work of the IMAI programme, as well as useful links and documents here. Follow IMAI on Twitter @IMAIProgramme to get details of any future roundtable events.

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