Artificial intelligence: can AI save the world?

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Tuesday 9 October

The Theatre

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Royal Society of Biology


Standard £16


Concession £10


Ri Members and Ri Patrons £7

Event description

The inclusion of self-learning algorithms into systems that underpin modern life could help us address many of the global challenges society faces. But they also carry risks that may have devastating results. Can AI truly save the world, or is it too risky to depend on machine learning to solve our problems?

This event is presented in partnership with the Royal Society of Biology, the Biochemical Society and the British Pharmacological Society for Biology Week 2018. Biology Week 2018 is from 6th-14th October and showcases the important and amazing world of the biosciences, getting everyone from children to professional biologists involved in fun and interesting life science activities. 

About the speakers

Ji Zhou's team focuses on developing novel high-throughput bioimage informatics algorithms and software solutions using computer vision, feature extraction and machine learning. He has been leading a number of key plant phenomics research projects including JIC's high-throughput field phenotyping platform based on HPC infrastructures at EI, cost-effective infield phenotyping device (CropQuant) to monitor wheat growth, and large automated screening platforms (SeedGerm) to quantify seed germination and seedling vigour. His research endeavours to overcome the phenotyping bottleneck in agricultural and crop research.

A Aldo Faisal is a Senior Lecturer in Neurotechnology (US equivalent: Associate Professor, tenured) jointly at the Dept. of Bioengineering and the Dept. of Computing at Imperial College London. He is also Associate Group Head at the MRC Clinical Sciences Center (Hammersmith Hosptial) and is affiliated facultyat the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit (University College London).

Maja Pantic is a Professor of Affective and Behavioral Computing and leader of the i·BUG group, working on machine analysis of human non-verbal behaviour and its applications to human-computer, human-robot, and computer-mediated human-human interaction. Prof. Pantic published more than 250 technical papers in the areas of machine analysis of facial expressions, machine analysis of human body gestures, audiovisual analysis of emotions and social signals, and human-centered machine interfaces. She has more than 20,000 citations to her work, and has served as the Key Note Speaker, Chair and Co-Chair, and an organization/ program committee member at numerous conferences in her areas of expertise.

Nasir M Rajpoot is Professor in Computer Science at Warwick, where he started his academic career as an Assistant Professor in 2001, and the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder since Sep 2017. He holds an Honorary Scientist position and serves as the Academic Lead for Digital Pathology Centre of Excellence at the University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust. Rajpoot is the founding Head of Tissue Image Analytics (TIA) lab at Warwick since 2012. The focus of current research in his lab is on developing novel computational pathology algorithms for improved cancer diagnostics and better stratification of cancer patients.  

Your chair for the evening is Aarathi Prasad. She is the author of 'In the Bonesetter's Waiting Room: travels through Indian medicine' which was featured as BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and won the Popular Medicine Award at the BMA Awards 2017; and 'Like A Virgin: how science is redesigning the rules of sex'. She was a contributing author to 'What the Future Looks Like: Scientists Predict the Next Great Discoveries―and Reveal How Today’s Breakthroughs Are Already Shaping Our World', edited by Professor Jim Al-Khalili; and has written for a number of publications including the GuardianProspectWiredThe Lancet, Vogue, ElleThe Telegraph and Scientific American.


The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm. There will be time for questions after the talk.

Latecomers will be admitted into the gallery.

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