Skip to main content

17 January 2024

King's academics and industry experts discuss developing AI and 'moving beyond the panic'

King’s academics joined policy and industry experts at Science Gallery London on 16 Jan to discuss where we go next with AI development, regulation and policy.

240117_AI & The Future Event Panel
From left to right: Dr Michelle Clement (standing), Professor Carmine Ventre, Professor Joanna Zylinska, Professor Sebastien Ourselin, Professor Dan Hunter, Dr Daniel Susskind, Jennifer Beroshi and James Snook.

The event Living Well with Technology: AI & the Future was hosted by King’s new Digital Futures Institute and King’s Policy Institute and featured a range of industry and academic experts focused on how we can live well with technology amidst the rapid developments in artificial intelligence (AI).

Professor Marion Thain, Chair-Director of the Digital Futures Institute and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at King’s, set the scene for the discussion by introducing the need for the King’s Digital Futures Institute.

The first government AI safety summit was only a few months ago, and not so long before global technology leads wrote an open letter urging the pause of the development of AI – [these events were] not because we couldn’t code well enough but because we don’t yet have the ethical frameworks and safeguards. The Digital Futures Institute is opening up a space for a new kind of conversation about technology. One that brings together the talk about technical innovation with ethics and responsibility – about how we live well.

Professor Marion Thain

The King’s panel included Professor Carmine Ventre, Director of King’s Institute for Artifical Intelligence, Professor Joanna Zylinska of the Digital Humanities department, Professor Sebastien Ourselin, Head of the School of Imagining & Biomedical Sciences and Professor Dan Hunter, Executive Dean of the Dickson Poon School of Law.

Professor Joanna Zylinska called for a need to ‘move beyond the panic’ that has set in about the development of AI.

Artists or creators have always created with technology or with external forces [...] The fear around machine learning is not that new either. In the 19th century when photography was invented a lot of intellectuals of the day went into a mode of panic thinking painting is dead. We know paintings didn't die, it had to rethink itself. Then we had surrealism, cubism, impressionism - humans had to see ourselves again, anew.

Professor Joanna Zylinska

The external panel consisted of Dr Michelle Clement, Researcher-in-residence at No.10 Downing Street, James Snook, Director at Flint Global, Dr Daniel Susskind, Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Ethics in AI and Jennifer Beroshi, Head of Policy Strategy and Development at Google Deepmind.

James Snook stated how policy surrounding AI is undergoing development at a scale we 'haven't seen before':

The challenge to policy-makers of answering the question of how we live well with technology, is at what point do we intervene? And how far do we intervene to optimally realise the benefits with the amount of harm we are willing to tolerate.

James Snook, Director at Flint Global

The event was part of a new series of spring events from the Digital Futures Institute

You can find out more by following the Digital Futures Institute on LinkedIn and by signing up to the mailing list

Watch the panel here

In this story

Marion Thain

Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Shitij Kapur

Vice-Chancellor & President of King's College London

Carmine Ventre

Professor of Computer Science

Joanna Zylinska

Professor of Media Philosophy + Critical Digital Practice

Dan Hunter

Executive Dean, The Dickson Poon School of Law

Sebastien Ourselin

Professor of Healthcare Engineering