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Dec 14 – Peter MacKinnon

Update: Presentation deck – The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence – Opportunities and Threats Final. Thanks Peter for interesting presentation.
Foresight Synergy Network Seminar
December 14, 2018: 12:30 – 15:30
Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, Desmarais Building Room 4165
The History & Foreseeable Future of Artificial Intelligence: Opportunities & Threats  
Peter MacKinnon
Managing Director
Synergy Technology Management
Ottawa, Canada
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has skyrocketed into the news in recent months with stories of promise and  threat for good and bad.  Political leaders have delared it a national priority, the global high tech industry is racing AI apps to markets and governance and policy implications of AI are in their infancy.
We will begin with some definitions and a bit of history behind the rise of AI. The talk will then focus on the impact of disruptive technologies on society both from an historical perspective and from a foresight perspective; including where current disruptive technologies could lead in the coming decades.  AI is an example of a disruptive technology.
Today, AI is such a ‘hot topic’ that even political leadership in many countries talk up the benefits of AI while pouring money into AI research and commercialization opportunities.  We will briefly look at the emerging AI market with respect to scale, offerings and expectations resulting from all the ‘hot topic’ activities.
The notion of an ‘AI race’ and its possible future scenarios will be considered in respect to developments such as autonomous decision making, which in the end demands the establishment of appropriate ethical choices as prerequisites for prevention and management of rouge situations.
This will lead to a discussion about ethics and moral issues regarding the development and use of aspects of AI as a duel-use technology.  The role of AI in defence and security will be used as a nexus for appreciating the complexity and ethical issues brought on by AI.
Finally, we will review potential governance and policy issues and options to address the rapid unckecked development and application of AI within society at large.
The speaker is a pioneer in the commercialization of AI and today is actively involved in ethical and policy issues related to AI.  He has an extensive background on the forefront of scientific and technological breakthroughs around disruptive technologies and their impacts on society.  He was an early proponent in the promotion of Big Data analytics using High Performance Computers, and was a major contributor in creating the Internet in Canada, among other accomplishments.
Peter has a background as a scientist, business manager, entrepreneur, domestic and international bureaucrat, executive, diplomat, management advisor, and academic; including affiliation with both Telfer and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa.

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